Topic 8: Bereavement Across the Life Span
Directions: One’s understanding of death and the bereavement process changes over the life span. Using the matrix provided below, summarize how the various stages of life understand death, and how each might grieve the loss of a loved one. Create a short vignette for each age group that expresses your understanding of the age group’s response to death and bereavement. Finally, hypothesize how a professional counselor might counsel each age group through the bereavement process. The first stage has been completed for you as an example.
Age Group Perception/Cognition of Grief Response to Grief Vignette
(short example/story of a child’s loss scenario) Counseling Interventions (including best practice interventions) for this age group)
Baby and Toddler Does not understand the permanency of grief. Excessive crying and yearning to being held.
A baby’s birth mother died during delivery. Counsel the guardians of the baby to be sure to tend to the baby’s need for touch and comfort.
Grade School Age