Assessing complicated grief

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As grief and its expression are influenced by the society in which a bereaved individual lives, and by attitudes and expectations in the immediate family, assessing grief is complex. The focus should be on understanding the individual and on recognising their strengths and resources as well as potential difficulties. The following should be taken into account:

Intensity and duration of feelings and behaviour—A woman who cries every day in the first few weeks after the loss of her husband or partner is within the normal range; if she is doing

'The death of Madame Bovary" by Albert-Auguste Fourie (b 1854). Reproduced with permission from Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, France/ Lauros / Giraudon/ The Bridgeman Art Library

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