How to Cope with Loss,
Grief, Death & Dying:
Professionally & Personally
These materials were prepared for the guest lecture delivered on February 7, 2002 for the California Maritime Academy
(California State University, Maritime) Social Science 210 course on "Dying:
The Final Stage of Living." Some of the material in the handouts will be
adapted as articles for the Loss, Change & Grief and the Resource sections
of this site.
Links to Handouts
Recognize various types of losses.
Understand the grief response to loss, how this applies
in daily life and in dealing with death and dying.
Recognize common disenfranchised or hidden grief
Become better prepared for dealing with sudden, accidental
or traumatic death.
Develop skills for delivering "Bad News."
Learn how to deal with the loss of a colleague.
Become more comfortable at being with a dying person.
Discover benefits derived from working with the dying.
Learn coping strategies for dealing with loss and
death—professionally and personally.
Excerpts from CISM Article as to the importance
Should there be a "Critical Incident" aboard
a ship at sea, as a result of either combat or accident, it is quite possible
that the ship's crew will have to rely solely on deployed assets, and not
depend on outside personnel. A ship at sea may quite simply not be within
range of any shore-based assistance. If the post-incident response cannot
be provided by already-deployed personnel, it may not be provided at all,
and certainly not in an expeditious fashion.
Appropriate education should be provided through
General Military Training to all crew members in the symptoms and effects
of traumatic stress, along with some of the ways in with which it may be
dealt. This is important for a number of reasons. First, by increasing
the crew's awareness of the effects of traumatic stress before an incident,
they are less likely to be completely blindsided by them and less likely
to be afraid that they are "going crazy" when they suffer from inability
to sleep, loss of appetite, intrusive images or thoughts, etc. This is
where the CISD mantra, "These are the normal responses of normal people
to abnormal circumstances," becomes invaluable.
benefits of putting such a model for Critical Incident Stress Management
into effect are many.
In the short term, the
crew of a ship suffering from a traumatic incident will be more fully operational
much more quickly, thus increasing operational readiness.
In the long term, the
provision of such a program, and the consequent reductions in the effects
of traumatic stress and improvements in morale, can help our retention
Reverend Canon Francis C.
United States Navy Chaplain
See the Emergency
911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless,
hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.
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