Understanding Grief: Not Moving On, but Moving Forward

There’s no “moving on” from grief – we simply carry it forward with us and hope for it to fade away over time. However, not everyone grieves the loss of a loved one the same way. In fact, many people experience instances where shock and surprise numb our emotional reactivity, such as crying. At other times, hysteria and drama can indicate an underlying mental health issue that ought to be addressed by a professional caregiver. Today, let’s go over various forms of grief to understand why everyone reacts differently.


Chronic Grief

Chronic grief is when someone experiences an intense emotional response to a loss. It is typically a dramatic, hysteric reaction, and in some cases, they won’t improve for as long as several years. This is most common with severe losses such as that of a spouse, close-knit parent or guardian figure, or someone on whom they were depending (whether financially, emotionally or otherwise), but there are exceptions when less “significant” losses can also be traumatic. Seeking out professional, dedicated care is critical if suffering from chronic grief, as it can otherwise lead to numerous mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and more.


Common Grief

Throughout history and even today, wearing black after a loss represents a period of mourning. In some societies, such as England in the Edwardian age, this would last for several months after a loss, but often the mental reaction would carry on for longer. This represents common grief, which can go on for as long as a year or two. Again, this all depends on the person grieving and the scale of the loss in question, but typical responses indicating common grief include depression, trouble concentrating and distress. Some people have trouble working after a loss resulting in this pattern.


Absent Grief

The most common form of grief is, ironically, the one that some of us fear to understand. Absent grief occurs when someone experiences a loss and, even if significant, their daily routine and mental state aren’t impacted. Many confuse this form of grief with disrespect or a lack of empathy, and some even go so far as to connect it with autism. However, we always fear what we don’t understand. More than half of us experience absent grief, but in actuality, we still respect and appreciate the loss – even if we don’t show it emotionally. Sometimes shock and surprise accompany this pattern.

Have you ever suffered the loss of a friend or loved one before and experienced any of these forms of grief? Know that you don’t need to face it alone if you’re struggling to cope. Always be comfortable in working with certified care experts who can ensure your well-being is protected – we’re here to help! Remember, the trick is to move forward rather than “move on.”

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