Complicated Grief

Yesterday, I shared the article, You Went to a Funeral and Then You Went Home , on my Facebook page. I received an email about it this morning that prompted me to end my mental health month series with a quick post about Complicated Grief.

complicated grief

A blurb from M.

“So I did read that you don't answer questions about specific mental health issues, so I'm really hoping this doesn't fall into that category, but it probably does. In which case I will understand if I don't get a reply. You posted this article yesterday on Facebook, by the way, it's a great article. The last few words got me though, and I didn't want to comment on the post because I didn't want to offend anyone. I have the utmost respect and sympathies for those who have lost someone close. So I'll fucking stop beating around the bush, the last few words of the article ‘Give those people more than sympathy or judgment; give them an endless amount of time to grieve in their own way. For that one act of kindness and grace, they will be forever grateful for you.’” M

M then went on to tell me about a specific situation regarding a loved one who is grieving. Even if M was a client, I couldn’t tell her what to do. Why? Well, because interpersonal relationships are complicated and personal! M is really the only one who can answer her questions. After explaining her situation, M asked, “Should I leave it alone, or do I say something? Am I being unsympathetic to her plight? And if I do say something, what do I say?”

I do not typically respond to emails that ask specific questions about diagnosis or requests for advice. In this situation, however, I felt comfortable sending M the link to an article about Complicated Grief. Knowledge is power, and from what M told me in her brief email, she was seeking knowledge to help her find a way to give a certain person “more sympathy than judgment.” This is not an uncommon problem when loved ones are grieving. Grief is just so personal! That is why Courtney felt the need to address it.

So, I responded to M. If M has more information, I think she will be able to think on her situation and see it from a different perspective and her heart and mind will find their way to the answers she is seeking. People have different needs and wants when grieving. What comforts one person might enrage and offend another. What to do, what to do?

The article I recommend to M, About Complicated Bereavement Disorder, can be found on the Psychology Today website. It covers the basics. I encouraged M educate herself about grief and then let her thoughts simmer a bit until her heart and mind feel ready to tackle her specific issue.

I encourage you to do the same. Grief is a normal response to loss. Complicated Grief is grief gone off the deep end. It’s devastating for the person suffering and for their loved ones who feel confused, hurt and helpless.

I want to thank you all for your support during mental health month. Mental health is my passion, but I realize that most of you come here for the bizarre, cuss-laced nonsense blathering to distract you from sad things and stress. I get it. And although I am still going to write about mental health topics here and there, I plan to resume my absurd ramblings post fucking haste.

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