Traumatic loss affects the social structure. Since we are social creatures by nature, the butterfly effect blows through the winds of life and affects every aspect of humanity. Katrina, 911, and the latest Tsunami in Japan all reflect this as every corner of the Earth viewed the destruction from these events. With these aspects in mind, grief counselors are called upon not only to treat victims but also bystanders who are scarred by the horrific sights and stories they witness in person or on television.
Themes Grief Counselors Can Face
A few themes noticed by experts include the following social ideas on how grief effects society. First, the minimizing tendency to deny the possibility of traumatic events happening to oneself. One is only to soon to proclaim, “This cannot happen to me”. This leads to the dangerous idea and theme of how well unprepared people are for traumatic events. One can especially see this in the case of government reactions. It also shows that governments are far from void of emotional response as any other person would be. Also one can see government response is not spared from classism and racism in its response. Another developing theme effecting society is the fact that death imprint is more universal and far reaching than ever before due to internet, television and up to date news. During WWII, campaigns and victories were heard after the event, but today, one can witness the battle as it is fought. Another theme is the fact that people socially accept natural catastrophes quicker than they do human caused pain. Ideas of violence and genocide strike the human heart greater than the roar of a hurricane. Finally, one can also see a social theme addresses the importance of ritual. When various rituals of burial are denied during massive catastrophes with great death, the grief recovery of an individual can be compromised.
All of these social implications point towards a variety of issues that can lead to complicated forms of grief not only in victims but also bystanders. Grief counselors, social workers and other emergency relief workers should be aware of these things when helping those that are victims to great grief caused by nature or man. If you are interested in a grief counseling certification, please review our program.
Mark Moran, MA