Loss, Grief and Mourning after brain injury

Loss, Grief and Mourning after brain injury

Janelle Breese Biagioni

Relief that the person has survived the brain injury is often followed by feelings of grief and loss as the meaning of survival becomes evident. This tip card helps families and caregivers understand the grief process and their reactions and shows clinicians how to support survivors and families as they mourn the losses and changes in their lives.

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Full Description

Mourning can seem contradictory when a family member has survived the brain injury. This tip card has information on the important work of healing as families and survivors deal with personal feelings of grief and loss after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It describes the range of reactions and responses among family members and friends. Several types of mourning are explained to help families understand their emotions. There are practical tips for survivors, family members and for professionals on the grief process and head injury.

Details
Item LGM
Pages 8
Year 2007

Authors

Janelle Breese Biagioni

As an author and international speaker, Ms. Breese Biagioni is a long-standing advocate for families and survivors of brain injury. Her book, A Change of Mind also published by Lash and Associates Publishing/Training, describes the marital and parenting impact of brain injury on a family. Other work includes non-fiction books, articles and short stories on bereavement and coping strategies for families affected by catastrophic injury. She offers workshops and presentations on Grief and Loss and has appeared on television and radio to promote her work.

To learn more about her as a speaker for seminars, workshops or conferences, please visit her website at www.soulwriter.com

Contents

This tip card helps persons with brain injury, families, and professionals understand the…
  • experience of grief
  • primary and secondary losses
  • possible responses of grief
  • importance of grieving and mourning
Physical Death vs. Non-physical Death

Bereavement, Grieving, and Mourning

Primary and Secondary Losses
  • The Ability to Grieve
The Grief Journey
  • Responses to Grief
  • Feelings of R.A.G.E.
Types of Mourning
  • Complicated Mourning
  • Extraordinary Mourning
  • Doing the Work
Tips for survivors of brain injury to grieve and mourn their losses…

Tips for family members to grieve and mourn their losses…

Tips for professionals to support survivors and families in the grief process… S.H.A.R.E.


Conclusion

References

Excerpts

Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Physical Death vs. Non-physical Death

Death is most commonly associated with loss. Physical death brings great losses to family and friends. Non-physical deaths or endings can also bring loss but their impact may not be as obvious to others. Yet it is still painful for those going through a life-altering ordeal.

It is important to grieve and mourn because that is how people heal and move forward in life. A person can feel loss through many different events including:

  • death
  • divorce
  • separation
  • illness
  • injury
  • transitions (i.e. loss of employment, empty-nest syndrome, geographical moves)

This tip card describes the grief journey and the connection between brain injury and grief. It explains why it is important for individuals and families to do the work of healing.

Primary and Secondary Losses

People, who have a brain injury, their family and friends, and even their co-workers, may find themselves grappling with grief because of the primary and secondary losses that can follow a brain injury. The impact that a brain injury has on an individual’s life can be staggering. The day-to-day challenges and life-altering changes for a survivor of brain injury can be overwhelming. The catastrophic injury results in the primary loss.

Secondary losses come after the primary loss. They can be physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, and social losses. These are the secondary losses.

The person with the brain injury, as well as every person in the family, will start on a journey of grief and mourning. It is important to acknowledge and encourage this. But this journey is not restricted to the individual and family. Others who are involved with the person (co-workers, friends, and extended family) may also grieve and mourn.

Everyone who is connected to the person with a brain injury may be affected in some way. For example, a spouse may have to quit a job to become a caregiver. Loss of employment and income are secondary losses for the spouse and family. It is also the loss of the relationship between husband and wife that existed prior to the injury. A spouse may have to give up outside activities. These are losses of social and community connections. Not only should each person explore any losses, but each person must find appropriate and safe ways to express their feelings of grief associated.

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