We grieve not the death of our loved one, but rather their slow demise. At the same time, we find ourselves taking on added responsibilities related to care and treatment for our loved one.
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When we mourn the death of a loved one we experience an intense emotion -- grief -- that we are clearly aware of. We also experience grief in our behavior:
What we call "the new grief" begins when a family member learns that he or she has a terminal or potentially terminal illness. Receiving that kind of diagnosis confronts families with a distinct type of crisis.
Given the way our culture has responded to problems such as anxiety and difficulty sleeping, it is highly likely that we stand poised to try to eradicate grief on a mass level through medication.
Modern medicine, in short, is getting better and better at staving off death. And as life expectancy in countries like ours continues to grow, the nature of grief has changed.
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