What is grief?

Grief is a deep and poignant sadness caused by someone's death but can also be the experience of sadness resulting from other significant losses. Grief is a normal reaction to a difficult experience of loss and is an experience that we all share.

What is complicated grief?

Complicated grief is when a person has experienced a loss but over time (afterpost 1-3 years) has been unable to move forward and continues to experience the intense pain of the loss as if it just occurred. The person's work, relationships, and ability to experience joy or a fulfilled life is compromised by the pain of the loss. Coping may be characterized by a depression or anxiety diagnosis. Additional forms of complicated grief can be defined as absent, delayed, or inhibited grief.

Suggestions for dealing with grief

  • Recognize and work through feelings associated with grief.
  • Reach out to supportive by talking about feelings as often as needed.
  • Resolve the past or any unfinished business.
  • Make plans for the future.
  • Live in the present.
  • Try to relax whenever possible.
  • Enjoy and celebrate life's joys and pleasures.

The grieving process

The grieving process is unique to each person who experiences loss. Some may experiences passing through stages of loss, and others will not. There is no specific road map on the how to grieve.

Counseling for grief

Professional counseling or a support group is ideal when experiencing a form of complicated grief or when feeling alone, isolated, or a lack of support while navigating a grief or loss experience. During the first few months after a loss, many signs and symptoms of normal grief are the same as those of complicated grief. However, while normal grief symptoms gradually start to fade over a few months, those of complicated grief linger or get worse. Complicated grief is like being in a chronic, heightened state of mourning.