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The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving by MS. Debra Holland

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chapter 4

Grief and Trauma

Defining trauma

Experiencing a traumatic event

The different ways we react to trauma

Recovering from trauma

Often trauma and grief are intertwined because death or other loss can occur in a shocking way and a traumatic event also involves one or more losses. Both a traumatic event and the death of someone we love are severe stressors. When they happen together, we have to deal with both the affects of trauma and of grief.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma involves an event outside our normal experience that frightens us and makes us feel helpless. The traumatic incident overwhelms our normal ways of coping, pushing us into an emergency state. Whether we are involved in the event or witness it, the more shocked, terrified, ...

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