There are different types of grief. It manifests in ways we thought were our day-to-day actions, but it’s actually a manifestation of our suffering. Here are 10 types of grief to help you understand how you feel.
Table of Contents
1. Normal Grief
Grief is a normal human emotion. Feelings of sadness are completely normal reactions to loss. You may feel anything from numbness to a full spectrum of emotions as you go through grief. These can take various forms, from physical to psychological, emotional, and social.
2. Anticipatory Grief
When the death of a loved one is imminent, it is common for people to experience anticipatory grief . To prepare for the impending loss, you may try to envision your life without them. It can be especially prevalent when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
During anticipatory grief, you may attempt to predict how you will grieve and react when your friend or loved one dies. You may experience loss or intense fear or emotion for the dying individual.
There are, however, some positive aspects of anticipatory grief. Many individuals believe they were able to take the necessary time to say goodbye or engage in difficult conversations about forgiveness.
Having the space and time to say “I love you” can be beneficial. All of this can assist you in preparing for when you begin the grieving process following a physical loss.
3. Complicated Grief
Complicated grief occurs when the mourning process does not progress through all grief stages. It can be prolonged and significantly more intense and will typically substantially impact your capacity to function.
You may experience increased depression and anxiety. With complicated grief, your reactions and behaviour will likely persist for a very long time without improvement.
Complicated grief, also known as prolonged grief, typically requires the assistance of a mental health professional. Complicated grief is one of the most challenging types. Therefore, someone with experience can be beneficial. It is crucial to recognize that complicated grief does not resolve on its own.
4. Delayed Grief
Even if the death of a loved one occurred a very long time ago, it is possible to experience delayed grief if you are experiencing intense feelings of sorrow and yearning. It can be felt for years after a loss, indicating that your emotional response did not occur at the appropriate time.
This could result from dissociation, which is common when something is too painful to feel. Your mind blocks many of the associated thoughts, emotions, and feelings until you are ready to process and deal with them.
5. Chronic Grief
Extremely intense reactions to a loss that do not diminish over time result in chronic grief. These feelings will last a very long time and cause you to experience great distress that continues to grow. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to make significant progress in overcoming your grief to heal.
6. Traumatic Grief
Traumatic grief is a common consequence of attempting to process grief when additional trauma is present due to a horrifying, unexpected loss or violent death. It can impair your ability to carry out daily activities.
7. Cumulative Grief
Cumulative grief occurs when a second loss occurs shortly after a first loss or while the first loss is still being processed. This form of grief, also known as grief overload or bereavement overload, can be difficult to recover.
Feelings of “I just can’t do this anymore” can result from accumulating loss. However, with the proper therapy and guidance, you can overcome all types of grief, including cumulative grief.
8. Inhibited Grief
Inhibited grief is the absence of obvious or outward signs of grief. This typically occurs over an extended time and results in an inability to effectively progress through the stages of grief. If you are experiencing inhibited grief, you will likely develop physical symptoms due to not addressing your emotions.
9. Disenfranchised Grief (Ambiguous)
Grief can be dismissed if you feel that others do not acknowledge your loss. This can occur when a culture or society fails to acknowledge your loss. For instance, a strong stigma may be attached to deaths caused by an overdose or suicide, and your grief may be dismissed.
Alternatively, the deceased could have been a former spouse, gang member, or even a same-sex partner, for whom others believe you should not or would not grieve. Disenfranchised grief may result when a loss is not acknowledged or when you do not feel seen or heard in how you are feeling and grieving.
Disenfranchised grief can also occur when a loss is not the result of a physical death but rather a traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, or mental health condition that significantly alters a relationship.
10. Collective Grief
There is collective grief when a tragedy affects an entire community or large group. It is common during wartime and after major natural disasters with long-lasting effects.
Other instances of collective grief include the passing of a beloved public figure, a terrorist attack, a mass casualty, or a national tragedy.
Counseling Session Tips
1. Evocative language
When dealing with real issues or encouraging painful feelings to surface, it is critical to speak of the loved one in the past tense or use words such as “died” rather than “lost.”
2. The Art Of Letter Writing
A farewell letter to a loved one who has passed on can help you find closure and lessen any lingering negative emotions.
The process and product of drawing can be used to convey and understand emotions. It’s beneficial for kids and others who struggle to put their feelings into words.
4. Reorganisation Of Thoughts
Constantly criticising and sabotaging oneself is counterproductive. The impact they have can be mitigated by checking, understanding them and letting them feel their emotions.
Role-playing is a great way to gain comfort with unfamiliar tasks or overcome anxiety about future events.
Conclusion About The Different Types Of Grief
Everyone grieves differently, and the healing process starts with feeling how you feel. Grieving is completely normal, and it may take a lot of time to heal, but always choose self-compassion. Be patient with yourself, as healing can take time.
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Frequently Asked Questions About The Different Types Of Grief
How Long Will This Grief Continue?
There is no universal timeline for the grieving process, and there is no assurance that your grief will subside after the first month or even the first year. Uninformed individuals may bombard you with their opinions on how long you “should” grieve.
It is impossible to predict how each individual or family will deal with loss. After a loss, the healing process can feel like an emotional roller coaster. There may be gradual improvements interspersed with setbacks. Other factors in your life at this time may also affect the length of time this grieving process may last for you.
How Do I Comfort A Grieving Person?
Realise that the kind of loss a grieving person is feeling cannot be “fixed” by anyone else. Sometimes the best we can do is simply to be there for our loved ones as they grieve, regardless of the specifics of their experience.
The bereaved person may need to vent their feelings on your shoulder, require privacy, or desire some physical activity. Saying comforting words and letting them know you’re there for them will greatly help them as they know they can lean on someone for support.
Is It Possible For Grief To Become Unhealthy?
Some people’s coping mechanisms may be overwhelmed, or the risk of negative complications may be higher in certain situations. Sometimes, health problems, financial strain, or a lack of social support can complicate the grieving process.
Professional help should be sought when a griever cannot perform normal daily activities, is not progressing despite a prolonged mourning period, or develops clinical depression or impairment.
When someone tries to deal with their grief in unhealthy ways, like through excessive substance use or risky behaviour, their grief can become harmful.
How To Know If Someone’s Grieving?
Here are some of the symptoms to know if someone’s grieving:
The physical manifestations of grief include:
- Chest tightness
- Tired and feeble
- Weakness or fatigue
- Tingling in the chest
Behavioural reactions of grief:
- Nightmares about the departed
Social responses to grief:
- Difficulties in relationships
- family avoidance
- Avoiding coworkers and avoiding friends
- increase substance abuse
- Not socialising with co-workers
You may also read about how to cope with grief at work.