Before telephoning the relative, read these three lists in order.
HERE ARE SOME NORMAL GRIEF REACTIONS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
- Preoccupation with thoughts of the dead person leading to tearfulness and to insomnia.
- Visual phenomena Illusions of seeing the dead person and pseudo hallucination visual, auditory and physical.
- Poor concentration
- Indecision and Restlessness. There may be periods of being able to concentrate and perform quite well amongst periods of haziness and indecision.
- Searching – knowing that the person is dead but going hopefully to places where the would have been.
THESE FACTORS INCREASE THE RISK OF A DIFFICULT GRIEF
- A sudden or unexpected death
- An painful/stormy/horrible death
- Multiple losses
- Over dependance on lost relative
- Lack of support
- Other life crises e.g. financial, job loss, house being taken over etc.
- Existing mental illness, especially depression.
- Carer not present at death
CHECK LIST WHEN TELEPHONING BEREAVED RELATIVES
2 Appetite (+ or -)
3 General health
4 Going out
5 Keeping in touch with family and friends
6 Feelings of excessive anger or guilt – do they need to be explored?