Topic Overview

Your
grieving process is influenced by how you view death.

  • If you believe in punishment after death, you may
    have a heightened sense of fear for your loved one.
  • If you believe
    that death is the end of all existence, you may feel a great sense of
    loss.
  • If you believe in eternal life, you may feel a great sense of
    hope.

Children younger than age 7 usually perceive death as separation.
They may feel abandoned and scared, and they may be afraid to be alone or to
leave people they love. They may not want to sleep alone at night, or they may
refuse to go to day care or school.

Children between the ages of 7 and 12 often perceive death as a
threat to their personal safety. They may fear that they will die as well, and
they may try to protect themselves from death. Some children may try to behave
extremely well. Others may try to be very brave. Some children may want to stay
close to someone they think can protect them.

Teens perceive death much like adults do. But they may express
their feelings in dramatic or unexpected ways. For example, they may join a
religious group that defines death in a way that calms their feelings. They may
also defy death by participating in dangerous activities, such as driving a car
very fast.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jean S. Kutner, MD, MSPH – Geriatric Medicine,
Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofOctober 6, 2017