Skip to Content

Grief and Your View Of Death

Topic Overview

Your grieving process is influenced by how you view death.

  • If you believe in punishment after death, you may have a heightened sense of fear for your loved one.
  • If you believe that death is the end of all existence, you may feel a great sense of loss.
  • If you believe in eternal life, you may feel a great sense of hope.

Children younger than age 7 usually perceive death as separation. They may feel abandoned and scared, and they may be afraid to be alone or to leave people they love. They may not want to sleep alone at night, or they may refuse to go to day care or school.

Children between the ages of 7 and 12 often perceive death as a threat to their personal safety. They may fear that they will die as well, and they may try to protect themselves from death. Some children may try to behave extremely well. Others may try to be very brave. Some children may want to stay close to someone they think can protect them.

Teens perceive death much like adults do. But they may express their feelings in dramatic or unexpected ways. For example, they may join a religious group that defines death in a way that calms their feelings. They may also defy death by participating in dangerous activities, such as driving a car very fast.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Sidney Zisook, MD - Psychiatry
Current as of March 12, 2014

Current as of: March 12, 2014

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.