Anyone who says grief has been an easy, step by step process…I envy you! I am certainly not one of those lucky few who can compartmentalize the loss of someone I love, and be able to check the boxes and say it’s time to move on to the next one, and be all better. The attached article says that those who we call complicated grievers “interminably bounce back and forth through the stages of grief without resolution.” Our brains work differently than those of someone who is able to resolve their loss in a more productive manner.
I do not believe there is a right or wrong way to grieve and live life thereafter, but it is important for us to understand the differences in each persons process, and to be aware of the symptoms complicated grievers might display. Some may develop substance abuse, or lose all regard for personal wellness, or ignore the wellbeing of those in their home or lives.
Depending on your upbringing or beliefs, grief can easily overtake ones life. Some who are in the midst of complicated grieving feel the need to build shrines, or constantly talk to their deceased loved one—almost being addicted to the past. It is totally normal to want things to be like they were before this tragedy, but a healthier way of working through these feelings can be accomplished with time and effort. Drawing ourselves out, or helping a loved one see these debilitating habits, is not an easy task.
We must treat complicated grief very seriously, and there is no shame in admitting professional help (including medication and therapy) might be necessary. Shaming, or telling someone to snap out of it, or belittling the mentality of someone who just can’t move forward is not acceptable!
If we can help in any way at First Hour, please fill out the contact form, or call. We are truly all in this together.