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A Death in the Family

Morris A. Wessel, MD
JAMA. 1975;232(10):1008. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250100010007.
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To the Editor.—  Dr. Melvin Krant's article, "A Death in the Family," in the Jan 13 issue of The Journal (231:195, 1975) does indeed remind us physicians of feelings of inadequacy we experience as we offer professional care to family members during bereavement. This role is challenging and difficult. When we try to help a bereaved individual, we inevitably experience some of that person's distress. How much help we can offer depends on the magnitude of the distress of the bereaved individual and the confidence we have in our ability to cope with our own reactions to this distress.One of the main problems up to now has been the relatively few clinical studies of the natural history of the grieving and mourning process, in spite of the fact that all human beings experience this syndrome at one time or another. The publication Bereavement—Studies of Grief by Colin Murray Parkes,


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