My essay on the psychology of death, grief and loss

It would be crazy to think that death can be avoided. But running towards her is not smarter. Life and death go hand in hand. Understanding that you do not know where you will find and where you will lose gives a person a chance to live his life more fully.

We know that life without a plan and forecasting is impossible. But on the other hand, it is impossible to take into account everything from accidents (for which there are also reasons for which we do not know), no one is safe. When consulting on a helpline, I often encounter situations where clients ask for any guarantees (“tell me that everything will be fine”), etc. Everything is very different, but usually I answer that either “everything will be fine” or that “after talking with you, I can go home, and I suddenly get hit by a bus. No one is safe from accidents, and your stability is in your choice of how to manage your life and how to react to what is happening. ” Two deaths cannot be, and one cannot be avoided – perhaps the most faithful folk wisdom on this subject. As for suicide, it, in my opinion, is just a way to die, and everyone’s personal right is to take this step, or to rise above the situation and become stronger to live on. Given that in our modern society it is not customary to talk about death, it seems to me that people in this regard are beginning to be excessively afraid of the realization of their mortality and are trying to avoid it. As for me, I don’t know how long I will live and how I will die, but I know that in this body I will not live forever, and therefore I need to live here and now, and not put it off for later. Speaking about the fact that death and life are closely interrelated (even if we don’t even talk about physical dying, we can recall the psychological death – personal or spiritual) and therefore allow us to draw attention to ourselves and want to speak about the representation of death in art. For example, in my deep opinion, horror films and similar literature have a psychotherapeutic function under them, which allows the viewer or reader to constructively work out their childhood fears at a safe distance, putting themselves in the place of the hero of an artwork.

Understanding death by children

Up to six years, the child is not able to understand death as such, the categories of “forever” or “forever” are still beyond his reach. He does not attach particular importance to death (grandmother died – looked, went on to play further). At an even earlier age – up to six years, death in the perception of the baby is possible only as a break with mom, he needs her so much that he cannot imagine himself without her care. From 6 to 11 years old children learn to understand that they are also finite. But at the same time, the concept of death does not always have an adult understanding of them, and therefore they believe that they can outwit and avoid it. Adolescents are more able to understand that death is the end that is inevitable for everyone. Much, as always, even here depends on the opinion of the immediate environment of the child, peers, etc. – for example, some already in these years believe in God, in the existence of a soul or consciousness without a body. It is fundamentally important to consider that it can be very important for a child to say goodbye to a beloved animal that has died (to bury him, etc.) in order to cope with grief and understand that death is inevitable and final, that they will not return from there. On the other hand, it is important to be aware that the guys whose peers die, seeing what is happening, then realize more acutely that death affects everyone. Without proper support and acceptance of the child, this experience can seriously injure him. Fears of death become very noticeable at the senior preschool age (6-7 years, when children understand the value of their health or be afraid to get sick). In primary school age, respectively, fear of the death of their parents is widespread.

The experience of the proximity of death in terminally ill.

There are a number of serious diseases, the outcome of which is mainly an ambulance, and the attitude towards which from the side of society is negative. Consequently, a cancer patient or a person with HIV infection is more likely to prefer to hide from others what is sick. After all, as soon as you let know about it, your usual freedom will be lost, then a long treatment will follow, which may turn out to be unsuccessful. And, besides, such a seriously ill suffering, he himself will see even the suffering (or indifference) of his relatives. It is worth letting you know about your illness and life will never be the same, and all the talk will be only about him. This is a question of how social attitudes towards death and sick people can stigmatize a sick person. Now about the children. Note that a terminally ill child may not be fully aware that he will die soon, but guess about it, feeling how the attitude of parents and medical personnel has changed towards him. The fear of death is not often expressed in your own words, therefore, you have to guess about the experiences of the child by his behavior. Those who are older experience more varied depression and anxiety. They understand the seriousness of their behavior and suffer from the fact that their life has changed beyond recognition and will not be the same. Here it is necessary to cut on the nose that children can see that their loved ones are suffering, but it is justifiable to feel abandoned and abandoned by their relatives. The work of a psychologist and a doctor, respectively, should be directed in both directions – to reduce stress in the child and create comfortable conditions so that parents survive the grief associated with the impending tragedy and not leave the child alone with the experience of their own illness and imminent death.


If it is possible to talk about death also talking about prevention, then it consists in sensibly informing people about what it is so that a person develops his own, healthy and mature position on such a personal and serious matter. Just as it is advisable to prepare a child for treatment in a hospital (to explain who the doctors are and what they do, to familiarize themselves with the situation of the medical institution and to play the moments that are worrisome and scary for specific children in a playful way), in my opinion, it makes sense to prepare man to the fact that death will come in any case, and therefore it does not make sense to be afraid of it. It would be more correct not to get on the rampage and not to rush things – not to risk in vain and be moderately cautious. Perhaps those who are afraid of death would treat it differently, if they were among those who treat death with respect. Society imposes on us that all people are equal, have rights and freedoms, but in fact we are all very different, and what unites us is that we are all born and all leave this world. The only question is how to use the time that is given to you and whether there is something after your departure. Understanding that you are mortal is frustrating, but with the right attitude to what is happening, enriches our lives. Looking the truth, you live your life, and do not go away from what you can’t influence, plunging into self-deception.

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