7 JULY 1967, Page 32

Sir: Increasing recognition of a 'bereavement syn- drome' by social

workers, clergy and the medical profession is leading to a better understanding of its problems. Death and disease are inescapable facts: the bitterness, despair, grief and 'it's too late now' guilts of those bereaved often become directed at the sick-bed attendants, nursing and medical, when there is an inability to accept the truth that these facts are real and affect one's dearest relatives. Usually time heals the raw wound, and a more mature view follows.

It is not easy to help those dying or their rela- tives—most laymen would not relish those tasks we will all need, and it is unfair to those bereaved to publish views stemming from a psychological inadequacy to cope with their situation. Such will only tend to confirm their bitterness and false attribution of motives to the simplest attempts to help. I write in the hope of spreading understand- ing and sympathy for those bereaved.