Understanding The Common Types Of Grief People Experience
Published on 17th April, 2023
Grief is a common aspect of life. Most people will go through a grieving process at some point. However, grief can take hold at any time and in various forms and types; understanding the differences is essential in healthily processing your grief. Often, acknowledging your grief is one of the healthiest ways for you to return to your normal state of mind and emotional well-being. Ignoring your grief might lead to a long-lasting negative impact on your life and mental health.
Although different staged models of grief might help us comprehend the concept better, there is no right or wrong method to process your grief. Grief is a personal process. Read on to learn the common types of grief most people experience.
What are the types of grief people may experience?
Grief is a complex emotion that evolves. It can take many forms and a person might experience more than one. Here are a few types of grief:
- Absent grief
Absent grief is when one does not exhibit typical signs of grief in response to a significant loss. This is especially common among people who experience a sudden loss and are in total denial or complete shock. Although it is a common type of grief, it should be addressed if signs of absent grief continue for an extended period (Moberly, 2022).
It is important to keep in mind that grief looks different for everyone and a person can be experiencing intense feelings deep down, even if they look like they are not. When experiencing denial, convincing yourself that you do not need help with grief is common. If your loved ones are concerned about your grieving process, seeking professional guidance from services like adult counselling in Singapore might be helpful.
- Anticipatory grief
Anticipatory mourning or anticipatory grief can be common if you are expecting the loss of your loved one or someone close to you in the near future. To prepare for the impending loss, you might begin to imagine life without them (Kelly, 2021). Anticipatory grief among family caregivers is common as caregivers witness their loved ones succumb to terminal illnesses such as Alzheimer's or cancer.
Dealing with anticipatory grief can be challenging as you might feel guilty about planning for your loved one's departure. On the other hand, taking conscious steps to make peace with the loss may put you in a healthier state of mind when the loss actually occurs. Either way, being patient with yourself as you navigate this type of grief is essential.
- Disenfranchised grief
When you believe that others have not acknowledged your loss, grief can become disenfranchised (Kelly, 2021). For instance, your grieving may be disregarded due to a significant lack of education and awareness, or stigma associated with suicide or overdose.
You might also experience disenfranchised grief when you lose someone whom others think you shouldn't grieve for, such as a former spouse, co-worker, or someone you haven't kept in contact with for a long time. This loss might be seen as small by others, making it feel like you should not be grieving.
Although it is hard to change a society or culture that contributes to your disenfranchised grief, you can try to find support networks that recognise what you are experiencing and empathise with your loss.
- Delayed grief
Delayed grief may initially appear as absent grief. However, grief can slowly emerge as the weight of a loss becomes a reality (Lawrenz, 2022). Delayed mourning or grief can happen if you are experiencing stark feelings of longing and sorrow even though your loved one's death occurred years ago. It basically indicates that your emotional reaction didn't occur when it should have and can last for years following a loss. This could be because the immediate grief was too painful and overwhelming for you to cope with at that time.
As delayed grief could be part of the natural grieving process for some people, it may not require any special intervention. Nonetheless, it might help to take small measures to accept the loss, which may include thinking or talking about the person you lost even if it was a long time ago.
Grief can take many forms, and there is no "normal" way to deal with it. In some cases, grief may be more complex or long-term than others, or it may require professional help, such as counselling or therapy. If you are experiencing grief affecting your personal relationship, couple counselling in Singapore can help equip you and your partner with therapeutic methods to provide support.
Grieving a loss is normal. Speaking with a mental health expert may be helpful if your grief is too intense or harms your daily life.
Moberly, K. (2022). 12 types of grief you may not know about https://www.betterup.com/blog/types-of-grief
Kelly, L. (2021). 16 Different Types of Grief People Experience https://www.talkspace.com/blog/types-of-grief/
Lawrenz, L. (2022). 9 Different Types of Grief https://psychcentral.com/health/types-of-grief#abrupt