After a loss, each member of a family has his or her own unique grief process. But just as important and unique is the grief experience of the entire family unit. Here are some of the reasons that it is important to acknowledge the needs of the family as a whole:
- Each person in a family has functions and roles not filled by anyone else. The death of any member results in the reorganization of all relationships in the system. Roles must be shifted and the family must reorganize. This shifting takes time and strongly influences the family’s growth and character.
- A family has its own identity. For example, the family may identify themselves as “community leaders”, “a group of practical jokers”, or “centered around the children”. When a member dies, family members often struggle to retain or redefine that identity in a way that is meaningful to…
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