Heart Center Blog

Types of Grief

Grief is a complex emotion that can manifest in different ways depending on the situation. There are different types of grief, each with its own unique characteristics, and it’s important to understand and recognize these differences to better manage the grieving process.

Acute grief

Acute grief is the most common type of grief and is characterized by intense feelings of sadness, anger, and disbelief. It is usually the first stage of grief and can last for a few weeks to a few months. During this period, a person may experience a range of physical and emotional symptoms, including:

  • Crying and tearfulness.
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Fatigue or lack of energy.
  • Irritability or restlessness.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Feeling numb or disconnected from others.
  • Avoidance of reminders of the loss.

Integrated grief

Integrated grief is another type of grief that occurs when a person learns to live with the loss and incorporates it into their life. This type of grief involves finding meaning in the loss and moving forward while still remembering the person or thing that was lost. While the symptoms of integrated grief are less intense than acute grief, a person may still experience periods of sadness or yearning for the person or thing that was lost.

Problematic grieving

However, some people may experience problematic grieving, also known as complicated grief or prolonged grief disorder, which occurs when a person experiences intense and prolonged grief that lasts for more than six months. It can be triggered by the loss of a loved one, but it can also occur in response to other types of loss, such as divorce or the loss of a job. Symptoms of problematic grieving can include:

  • Intense feelings of sadness, guilt, or anger that persist over time.
  • A sense of disbelief or inability to accept the loss.
  • Difficulty functioning in daily life, such as problems with work, relationships, or self-care.
  • Social withdrawal or isolation.
  • Difficulty trusting others or forming new relationships.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of problematic grieving, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. Treatment for problematic grieving may involve therapy, medication, or a combination of both. The goal of treatment is to help a person process their emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

In addition to seeking help when grief becomes problematic, it’s important for individuals to have a support system in place. This can include family, friends, or support groups. Support can provide a safe and comforting space to process emotions, share memories, and work through the grieving process. With the right support, it’s possible to move forward and find PEACE after a loss.

Dear Carol

Dear Carol,
It’s been almost two years since we had that awesome three months in the woods on the Sunshine Coast. How magical and marvelous it was to wake up and venture out on the bridge with my coffee every morning. So many days we marveled at the sun peaking through the trees. ☀️

Yes, I will admit you loved your indoor trees more… with all those beautiful bells and whistles on them. I have the photographs to prove your insane love for Christmas ornaments!🎄☺️🎄

Having that said, let’s not leave out your love of golf. Perhaps it wasn’t the golf more than it was your love of fine food at the golf courses and let’s not forget the fun attire that went along with the sport! One day Carol, who knows, I may just go golfing. I will wear your lucky white gloves and knock one out for you.🏌️‍♀️

My dear friend, my loving soul person, you have taught me so much. I know you said, “get busy living” or “get busy dying”. You definitely took both seriously. You were brave, fearless and courageous.

So, I am continuing to “get busy living” but just wanted to take a brief moment in time to reflect on the beautiful “YOU” and reflect on all the “Good” that you have brought to me so I can now bring it forward.

There are so many countless ways, I am happy to say, you have impacted my life, in all environments, from work to play and all the way around.

Ah…the wonderful days of singing and playing the Beach Boys, Frankie Valli, the Bee Gees, and ABBA just to name a few. Those were truly precious moments!

When the cancer came again, at Stage Four, it was obvious you were going to pack for a different trip this time. The trip was “of” and “for” a lifetime yet so many trips have been lived and will be lived again.

So, with no beginning and no end Carol, here is a toast to you my friend with a frozen iced salted margarita with a pretty pink umbrella in it.

Cheers to you my bling girl, who was and always will always be my guardian angel 👼🏻. You now live on forever as an example of all that is good, inspiring and positive.

I love you, I love you, I love you.