Areeba Kamal, MBA ’21: The Censorship of Grief | Summary and Q&A

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April 9, 2021
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Areeba Kamal, MBA ’21: The Censorship of Grief

TL;DR

Grief is often censored in society, but it is an inevitable and chronic process that should be recognized and supported.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the author's expectations of grief differ from the reality of their experience?

The author had imagined a more serene and prepared process, but instead they faced confusion, despair, and a struggle to accept their mother's death. Their experience was far from the conventional narrative of grieving.

Q: Why did society start censoring grief in the mid-20th century?

According to sociologist Jeffrey Gorre, this censorship began due to the rise of hospitals as places of death and the societal emphasis on happiness. Death became something to be hidden away and ignored, leading to the neglect of grief as a natural process.

Q: How does grief impact both mental and physical health?

Grief can cause symptoms like numbness, yearning, fear, and PTSD. Additionally, it can affect appetite, memory, sleep, and cause physical ailments like ear infections. The author emphasizes that grief is not solely a mental experience but also manifests in physical ways.

Q: What are some ways society can better support and acknowledge grieving individuals?

Society can provide mental health support, create rituals and commemorative events for the deceased, and recognize the need for bereavement leave. It is important to allow space for grieving individuals to openly express their pain and not expect them to quickly "bounce back."

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The author shares their personal experience of losing their mother and the unexpected challenges they faced during the grieving process.

  • They explore the different phases of grief, including numbness and yearning, and how it can manifest in physical and mental symptoms.

  • The author discusses the historical context of the censorship of grief in society and the societal shift towards prioritizing happiness and positivity.

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