When you become a widow, you don’t need anyone to tell you that your heart is broken.
You know it is !
Grief is the normal and natural emotion to the death of your spouse.
We all grieve differently, there is no certain way, a time frame or even how you should grieve. Some widows openly show their emotions, while others are quite and don’t show emotion at all. Give yourself permission to grieve YOUR way.
When you grieve your brain and your body shuts down which is normal, you go into survival mode and become quite numb.
- You eat more often or completely lose your appetite.
- You have a tough time concentrating or focusing on simple tasks.
- You sleep more than usual or not be able to sleep at all.
- Your chest feels tight or as if your heart has sunk into your stomach.
- You are on a roller coaster of emotional energy, some days all you want to sleep and others you fly around with so much energy
- You become forgetful, and think you are losing your mind
The intensity of your grief starts subsiding as you step into your new normal. You are able to function easily and return to your normal eating and sleeping patterns and return to your routines, however, sometimes that doesn’t mean you have recovered from your loss and grief.
After a significant emotional loss such as death, widows usually change their life choices to protect their hearts from being hurt again. Have you ever done that?
What is Unresolved Grief
It is known medically as persistent complex bereavement disorder, and can occur in approximately 7% of grieving people. They describe a person who has prolonged periods of intense mourning with no progression in the healing process or a worsening in symptoms over time. The term may also describe a person who simply doesn’t mourn, but instead is in denial over the loss.
It should be noted that this type of grief frequently is linked to co-occurring disorders such as “adjustment disorders, major depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Unresolved Grief and Normal Grief
With unresolved grief, a person is grieving for a prolonged period, with intense symptoms such as suicidal idealization or suicide attempts. This type of grief can interfere with the person’s ability to function in daily life. However, it may not look any different than the grieving process on the outset, but it is differentiated by:
- Its severity
- Its duration – it can continue for years
- Its interference with normal, daily functioning
- Its intensity, and the fact that the grief does not decrease over time
Causes and Risk Factors of unresolved Grief
It is not known what causes unresolved grief, however, there are certain risk factors that are believed to contribute to the development of unresolved grief.
- Violent death
- No social support for the bereaved
- Co-dependent on the deceased
- The death is sudden
- Inability to adapt
Behaviors of Unresolved Grief
People with unresolved grief display different types of behaviors and may have extreme reactions to their loss. They may:
- Not want to speak about the loss or acknowledge the loss in any way
- Obsess over the person to the point where they are unable to think about other things
- Spend all their time immersed in a hobby or work thereby avoiding and dealing with the grief
- Become more anxious about their health
- Avoid other people
- Become depressed
- Engage in destructive behaviors, such as drugs and alcohol, or take up smoking
- Here are common indicators that you are experiencing unresolved grief:
- Do you refuse to talk about your loss?
- Do you avoid thinking about your loved one one who died because good memories are painful?
- Do you avoid places or events that remind you of your husband and partner?
- Do you only talk about their positives, refusing to admit they might have had some negative qualities too?
- Do you keep the same exact routines you did when they were still alive because you’re afraid you will forget them?
- Do you only talk about their negatives qualities as if they never did anything good?
- Do you avoid getting close to people?
Unresolved grief is usually at the root of fear about any new relationships and the fear of what your future holds.
Is your life forever changed after a loss? Oh Yes !!
There’s nothing wrong with grieving, but you don’t have to live the rest of your life in pain.
Is the quality of your life what you want it to be?
Imagine thinking about your husband and partner without feeling broken hearted and in pain.
Imagine living and loving to the fullest. What would that be like for you?
If you think you may have Unresolved Grief, schedule a free breakthrough call with me where we will go through where you are now in your grief journey, whats keeping you stuck and where you want to be. https://meetme.so/DeniseDielwart
Denise Dielwart – Widows Living Beyond Grief and Loss