What is grief?
See below for definitions for complicated, traumatic, anticipatory, and disenfranchised grief.
In complicated grief there may be more severe symptoms such as those that occur in post traumatic stress disorder and it tends to go on for longer. Read about how to deal with it here.
In my experience, grief is the pain caused by the lack of the physical presence of the loved one, and not being able to see or talk to them again. For me, having lots of photographs of the loved one around helps, as that way you can still talk to them. Some people need a memorial or a grave to visit as a way of connecting with the loved one.
Grief can be for:
Loss of a twin
Loss of a young adult
No one bereavement is ever like another. There can be death after a long illness, sudden death, accidents, suicide, overdose or self-harm. Loved ones are lost after a murder, or they can just disappear and no-one knows whether they are alive or dead.
Anticipatory grief is for the loss of someone who hasn't died yet, or it can be for yourself if you have a terminal illness.
Examples of anticipatory grief are for:
Read more about anticipatory grief.
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, you might find my book useful. Click on the image for more information.
As well as grief for someone who has died or disappeared, there are many other losses in life which can cause serious emotions of grief. People often don’t realise that you are suffering from grief in these situations, and this is sometimes referred to as disenfranchised grief.
Disenfranchised grief can be caused by losing a limb, becoming wheelchair bound, and by many other health issues and the financial worry that a disability can bring.
Lifestyle changes can cause grief, for example, losing a job. The grief is major and is often not recognised as grief in these circumstances. The shock, pain and anxiety can be as severe as any bereavement.
Kenneth J Doka has this excellent definition: "I define disenfranchised grief as grief that results when a person experiences a significant loss and the resultant grief is not openly acknowledged, socially validated, or publicly mourned. In short, although the individual is experiencing a grief reaction, there is no social recognition that the person has a right to grieve or a claim for social sympathy or support." in this paper for the American Psychological Association.
Some more examples of disenfranchised grief might be:
Coping with Chronic Illness - see this uplifting story by Sarah, recently diagnosed with MS
Loss of health or loss of a limb
Loss of first love
Major disasters – even if we didn’t know anyone involved – such as the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack.
Traumatic grief occurs usually after sudden violent loss from major natural disasters, major transport disasters or terrorist attacks.
It also occurs after violent deaths by murder, which can evoke many complicated emotions of bitterness, hate and revenge towards the murderer as well as the normal emotions of grief.
This is grief that does not resolve itself naturally but seriously affects the person’s ability to function. It usually requires treatment.
Complicated grief may often be associated with traumatic grief, but often occurs in situations where the person is not able to acknowledge or seek support for their grief.
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Check out our lovely range of memorial jewelry for any lost loved one. Pendants, necklaces, rings or bracelets, we have them all in all kinds of styles. Choose for yourself or buy as a sympathy gift.
Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.
Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.
The 10 points are laid out like a poem on two pretty pages which you can pin on your fridge door to help you every day!
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