Grief can be isolating and lonely. We often receive condolences and support in the days or weeks immediately following the loss, only to be left alone with our deep emotions in the months that follow. It can feel extra isolating when we hear garbage religious platitudes like, “They’re in heaven now.” It can feel like no one gets it.
Grief is a normal reaction to the loss of someone significant to us. Grief does not always look like sadness and crying. Grief can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Physical pain
- Difficulty making decisions
- Questioning our beliefs
Grief can come in different forms or result from variable circumstances, including:
- Mourning someone’s loss of functioning or major personality change, due to dementia, severe illness, etc.
- Ambiguous loss when the situation is inconclusive, such as disappearance or abandonment
- Anticipatory grief, when we are expecting someone’s impending death
- Disenfranchised grief, when our grief is unacknowledged by others, or we are cut off from the person who was lost
- Delayed grief, in which feelings surface after many months or years
- Grief due to traumatic death or someone taking their own life
The rollercoaster of grief is not mental illness. You’re not crazy. Let’s talk about it.