Normal vs. Complicated Grief: Can You Go Overboard with Mourning?  

People mourn in different ways. You might have someone who can’t stop crying at a loved one’s funeral. You may encounter someone who’s cracking jokes even as they bid farewell to a loved one. 

Both ways are natural since everyone deals with grief differently. However, you might also encounter someone who is unable to get over a loved one’s death.

When that happens, they may need to spend some time in a mental health treatment center, especially if time passes and they’re unable to get over the feelings of loss weighing them down. Such a person might be dealing with complicated grief. We’ll talk about the difference between that and normal grief right now.

What is Normal Grief?

Normal grief is what you feel when something sad happens in your life. Someone dying will presumably be a reason for you to feel sad and grieve for them. You will probably be thinking about what your life will be like without this person. If you love them very much, it might be hard to envision life without them.  

What is Complicated Grief?

Complicated grief is grief that starts from a normal source, like a loved one dying, but it seems to grow until it swallows someone’s whole world. If what you’re feeling after a loved one dies is complicated grief, it might be the first thing to hit you when you wake up in the morning, and you may be unable to feel anything else besides that powerful and abiding sense of loss.

You might not be able to focus on anything else. You may struggle to eat, get out of bed and dress yourself, bathe, work outside the home, etc. The grief you feel will remain with you like a black cloud, and you may believe that you are powerless to get away from it.  

What Can You Do for Someone Who Can’t Get Over Their Grief?

If you know someone who is going through complicated grief, you need to give them some time. Some deaths will impact people more than others, and often, patience and understanding are required. 

In time, the person will usually feel better, though it may take days or weeks. If months pass, and the person does not seem to be getting any better, that is when you may need to talk to them about seeking treatment from a qualified mental health professional. 

Perhaps the person who is experiencing complicated grief is a parent, and they have children depending on them to get better. Maybe they have a job that they are soon going to lose if they can’t snap out of it and return to their previous duties. 

These situations can be very tough sometimes. You don’t want to be callous, but you also have to get through to the person and make them understand that there’s a lot on the line if they can’t return to their previous functionality. Hopefully, you can convince an individual in this situation to get the help they need. 

Interesting Related Article: “How To Tell a Loved One Someone Has Passed Away