Defining Our Grief
Grief in the general sense is a reaction to loss. We connect the concept of grief to death, however, grief can be associated with any type of loss. We often overlook the intense impact secondary losses have on our experience of grief. So why is it so important to be able to define and understand the grief that we feel? Simply put, grief can feel like a very out of control experience and arming ourselves with information can not only help to establish some sense of control, but to also know when to reach out for more support.
|Type of Grief||Description|
|Normal grief||Should not be thought of as easy. Rather, it is the process of moving toward accepting the loss as symptoms steadily dissipate, allowing the person to gradually reengage in daily activities.|
|Anticipatory grief||Begins prior to the actual loss. This is most commonly found when a person is dying from a long-term illness, and the bereaved begin their grief process the moment the impending loss sinks in. Anticipatory grief can be difficult for people because they may feel guilty for feeling such strong emotions of loss prior to their loved one dying.|
|Chronic grief||A strong reaction of grief in which symptoms do not dissipate over time.|
|Delayed grief||Occurs when a person does not begin to feel the symptoms of grief until long after the loss. In many cases, the person consciously or subconsciously avoids the reality of the loss.|
|Inhibited grief||Happens when people keep their grief symptoms to themselves. The feelings are kept inside until they manifest in the body, often with somatic complaints.|