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Signs of Normal and Complicated Grief September 14, 2021

Person sitting on swing alone

Grief may be considered “normal” but that does not make it any easier to experience. While it may be natural, what can make it challenging is that everyone experiences it in their own ways.

When grief is natural and normal, those experiencing it will experience a lessening of its intensity. Grief is complicated, however, when its effect do not lessen over time, the day-to-day activities of the affected person may be impacted and their health may even suffer. Here are some signs of when grief is normal and signs when grief may be complicated.

Common Signs of Grief

Most are familiar with some of the more common signs of grief. These can include:

  • Crying and sobbing, sometimes uncontrollably for brief periods
  • Changes in daily patterns, particularly when it comes to sleep
  • Appearing apathetic or lethargic, including apathy towards activities they once enjoyed
  • Isolating themselves from friends and family members
  • Overall lack of energy
  • Questioning long-held beliefs
  • Changes in appetite
  • Unusual burst of anger or temper

When these feelings, reactions or attitudes are temporary, it could be considered normal. It is when they don’t dissipate that grief becomes complicated.

Complicated grief can impair living life to its fullest. It can ruin relationships and physical and mental health.

Factors That Can Contribute to Complicated Grief

While everyone experiences grief differently, there are some common factors that can lead to complicated grief. For example, when grief is particularly traumatizing. When grief is delayed through denial or other causes, it can also lead to a lengthier recovery time. If a person becomes isolated or disenfranchised, grief will frequently turn complicated.

Persons suffering from complicated grief can often benefit from a support group or professional counseling. Fortunately, these resources are relatively easily accessible in a variety of forms. Grief support groups can meet in person or serve as a social network on the internet. Pastors or religious figures can serve as counselors as can trained therapists. If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from complicated grief that is not waning, seek the assistance needed.

At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, we are honored to serve the families of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. If you are new to the area or do not have a funeral director to turn to, we invite you to contact us.

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