Delayed Grief

© Copyright 2019 Grief Probate Journey Blog *PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN SOURCED FROM the UK, AMERICAN AND CANADIAN WEBSITES. It is also based on our own experience*.

Please see delayed grief which covers:

  1. Our own experience with Delayed Grief
  2. Delayed Grief
  3. Grief/Unresolved Grief/Masked grief/Complicated grief
  4. Stages of Grief
  5. Effects of grief on the body
  6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  7. How do you help someone who is grieving
  8. Grief and Bereavement
  9. Mourning and Grieving
  10. Grief and Depression
  11. Getting over grief
  12. Links on grief
  13. Our final thoughts

1. Our own experience with Delayed Grief

We (my sister and I) weren’t even aware this was a term used. Maybe because as we’re not focusing on the word grief, it’s not something that would have entered our mind.

Our experience has made the way we look at things quite altered. We don’t look at things from the mind of someone who has lost someone. Quite often sometimes we find ourselves looking at matters in a technical sense. We do not like this, but by default because of how things have been it’s become almost an automatic thing.

However, on occasions, the way we really feel comes out and it hits us really hard.

What we’re trying to get across is that, because there are always many dominating factors surrounding our times of sadness, (these factors being the Probate process and the complaint against the hospital in which our Dad was an inpatient), the sadness is pushed aside in order for us to be able to deal with the outside surrounding factors.  This takes up the majority of our time and so how we feel and what we are truly going through is pushed to one side.

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 2. Delayed Grief

2.1 Can grief be delayed?

“Grief reactions can be delayed for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. Factors that delay grief, can include:

  • Putting it off because of pressing matters that need attention, such as supporting others (including grieving children/teens), taking care of a practical family situation, or keeping routines going .

“This can cause a person to internally shut down their grief processing. When someone avoids the pain of the loss by pushing it away, or down, so it won’t intrude on their life”.

This is our situation. We did not have the chance to come to terms with anything at all, as literally the day after the traumatic way we found out about our Dad passing, we were almost immediately thrown into a whole new world as the Death Certificate was referred to the Coroner. From that day onwards, we were consistently faced with huge unknown situations that we had no clue about or how to deal with them. Therefore our grief/acceptance has been pushed to one side. We were not physically strong enough to do both, grieve and deal with everything else that was going on around us that we had to and still have to sort out.

2.2 What are the symptoms of delayed grief?

“Symptoms of complicated grief might include”:

  • “Continued disbelief in the death of the loved one, or emotional numbness over the loss”.
  • “Inability to accept the death”.
  • “Feeling preoccupied with the loved one or how they died”.
  • “Intense sorrow and emotional pain, sometimes including bitterness or anger”.

More items… 10 May 2019

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3. Grief/Unresolved Grief/Masked Grief/Complicated Grief

3.1 What are the types of grief?

“Types of grief and loss”

  • “Anticipatory grief. For family caregivers, grieving can start long before the person you are caring for actually passes away”.
  • “Normal grief.”
  • “Delayed grief”.
  • “Complicated grief (traumatic or prolonged)”.
  • “Disenfranchised grief (ambiguous)”.
  • “Chronic grief”.
  • “Cumulative grief”.
  • “Masked grief”.

More items…

3.2 What are the physical symptoms of grief?

Physical symptoms of grief

  • “Exhaustion”
  • “Breathlessness”
  • “Aches and pains, such as chest pain and headaches”.
  • “Shaking and increased heart rate”.
  • “Feeling sick”.
  • “Upset stomach”.
  • “Oversensitivity to noise and light”.
  • “Skin problems and sensitivity”.

More items… 15 Jul 2018

3.3 What does grief feel like?

“What Does Grief Feel Like? Following a death or loss, you may feel empty and numb, as if you are in shock. You may notice physical changes such as trembling, nausea, trouble breathing, muscle weakness, dry mouth, or trouble sleeping and eating. Feelings of deep sadness and sorrow are common in grief”.

3.4 Is grief an emotion?

“While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to that loss. Grief is a natural response to loss. It is the suffering one feels when something or someone the individual loves is taken away”

3.5 How long does it take to go through the stages of grief?

“There is no set timetable for grief. You’ll probably start to feel better in 6 to 8 weeks. The whole process can last anywhere from 6 months to 4 years. You may start to feel better in small ways. 25 Jul 2017″.

3.7 Masked Grief

“Grief reactions that impair normal functioning, however, the individual is unable to recognize these symptoms and behaviors are related to the loss. Symptoms are often masked as either physical symptoms or other maladaptive behaviors”.

3.8  What is unresolved grief?  

“There is no definite point in time or a list of symptoms that define unresolved grief. Unresolved grief lasts longer than usual for a person’s social circle or cultural background. It may also be used to describe grief that does not go away or interferes with the person’s ability to take care of daily responsibilities.”

3.9 What is complex grief?

“Signs and symptoms of complicated grief may include: Intense sorrow, pain and rumination over the loss of your loved one. Extreme focus on reminders of the loved one or excessive avoidance of reminders. Intense and persistent longing or pining for the deceased. Problems accepting the death. 5 Oct 2017.”

3.10  Life Decisions to Delay While Grieving

“Throwing Out Mementos, Keepsakes and Other Reminders”

“If you’ve ever acted rashly in an emotional moment by saying or doing something you later regretted, then you should trust that now is not the time to trash mementoes, keepsakes, photographs, and other reminders of your beloved even if these items trigger sadness and tears while your grief feels freshest”.

“Once hauled to the curb and taken away, these irreplaceable tangible connections between you and someone you love will be lost to you forever. Therefore, you should delay throwing out any items that are linked to your loved one as you grieve. In time, perhaps six months or a year, you might feel differently as you begin adjusting to life after the loss of your loved one. At the very least, you will probably feel better equipped with the passage of time to assess what you truly wish to keep and what you want to toss”.

“If you simply cannot tolerate these physical reminders right now, consider boxing them up and storing them in a spare room, garage, basement, a friend’s house or even a rented storage unit to remove them from your living space”.

Unfortunately, we did not have the option of delaying Life Decisions, instead, our Grief became delayed, and so reading this brings us some form of comfort. We really truly struggled to clear our Dad’s house. From the outside in, it took way longer than it should have done. But for us, we really struggled. It was emotionally, mentally and physically draining, some days I literally felt sick to my stomach. Also, it would feel at times like, this is too much, it’s too hard, we do not want to do this anymore. I do not think we were prepared for what to expect when doing this. We knew we had to get it done as the house was on the market, but we had not a clue where to start and how to go about it. Then once we did start, finding things that reminded us of our time living there, or things that our Dad had made (he was always making things). It would bring on so many different feelings.

Put things into storage is exactly what we did. This was for one reason really TIME. Not having enough time to process what we would want to keep or what we would want to throw away. We had pressure from the Estate agent on a regular basis, and so, in the end, we put things into storage.

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4. Stages of Grief

4.1 Are there really stages of grief?

“The five stages of grief in terminal illness are chronologically: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The model was first introduced by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, and was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients”.

4.2 How many stages of grief are there?

“Five stages”:

“They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss. The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost”.

4.3 What are the seven stages of grief?

“Dr. Kübler-Ross refined her model to include seven stages of loss. The 7 stages of grief model is a more in-depth analysis of the components of the grief process. These seven stages include shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance.17 Jun 2019″.

4.4 Why the five stages of grief are wrong?

“The stages—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—were only later applied to grieving friends and family members, who seemed to undergo a similar process after the loss of their loved ones. Grief turns out not to be so simple. … We may race through them or drag our feet all the way to acceptance.7 Jul 2017″.

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5. Effects of Grief on the body

5.1 How does grief affect the body?

“Grief has also been found to aggravate physical pain, increase blood pressure and blood clots, and exacerbate appetite loss—possibly because it also caused people to find less pleasure in food. … Unsurprisingly, though, another chunk of medical research on grief has focused on its effects on the heart 11 Sep 2014″.

5.2 Can grief affect your heart?

“The heartbreak of grief can increase blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. Intense grief can alter the heart muscle so much that it causes “broken heart syndrome,” a form of heart disease with the same symptoms as a heart attack. Stress links the emotional and physical aspects of grief. 11 Jul 2019″.

5.3 Can Grief Make You Ill?

“According to British psychological society, physical ill health is a symptom of grief and can manifest itself into anxiety-like symptoms. In the case of sudden death, physical affects can be related to trauma and stress, such as a churning stomach, a racing heart, shakes and being hypersensitive to noise. 17 Nov 2017″.

5.4 How does grief affect your brain?

“When you’re grieving, a flood of neurochemicals and hormones dance around in your head. “There can be a disruption in hormones that results in specific symptoms, such as disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, fatigue and anxiety,” says Dr. Phillips. When those symptoms converge, your brain function takes a hit. 4 Jun 2018″.

5.5 Does grief affect memory?

“Interestingly, grief impacts memory deeply. Other studies have shown that in some instances, people who are grieving suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is known to have memory impact as well. With complicated grief there’s the problem of multiple issues affecting the brain at the same time”.

5.6 How Mourning can affect your memory

“Memory loss is quite a common symptom after a bereavement, along with confusion, inability to concentrate, feeling that you are going crazy. But you’re not losing your mind. Grief is a huge trauma and you are reeling from the shock of your loss. It’s not surprising that you can‘t think straight.”

5.7 Can grief make you lose weight?

“How does grief affect weight gain or loss? Studies show that appetites are often diminished, which can lead to serious weight loss. A common effect of grief on one’s physical health is a loss of appetite and, in turn, significant (or at least mild) weight loss. 5 Sep 2018.”

5.8 Does Grief change your personality?

“Death in the family changes people in many ways. It makes some to internalize it and not share their grief with others, because they assume that sharing their grief is burdening the others with their suffering. The pain of death makes them shun love from everyone else, makes them feel life is futile. 21 Mar 2015″.

5.9 How does bereavement affect you emotionally?

“Grief can affect you mentally, emotionally and physically and it can also affect your relationships with others. If the passing of someone close was unexpected, you may feel like you should be able to carry on as normal, but you can’t. These emotions aren’t wrong – they’re a normal process of bereavement. 25 Mar 2016″.

5.10 Why does grief make you so tired?

“During your grief journey your body needs more rest than usual. You may also find yourself getting tired more quickly-sometimes even at the start of the day. Sleeping normally after a loss would be unusual.  The stress of grief can suppress your immune system and make you more vulnerable to physical problems”.

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6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

6.1 What are the symptoms of PTSD in adults?

“The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms”:

  • “Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares”.
  • “Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma”.

More items…

6.2 What triggers PTSD?

For people with PTSD, it is very common for their memories to be triggered by sights, sounds, smells or even feelings that they experience. These triggers can bring back memories of the trauma and cause intense emotional and physical reactions, such as raised heart rate, sweating and muscle tension”.

6.3 Can PTSD cause memory loss?

 “Post-traumatic stress disorder”

“The stress of PTSD can have severe effects on the hippocampus, causing problems with transferring short-term to long-term memory. There is no one way that patients’ memories are affected by PTSD, as shown by a variety of studies”.

6.4 Do I have PTSD?

“Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult”.

6.5 How does PTSD affect behavior?

“Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt — all are common reactions to trauma. However, the majority of people exposed to trauma do not develop long-term post-traumatic stress disorder. Getting timely help and support may prevent normal stress reactions from getting worse and developing into PTSD”.

6.6 How does PTSD affect a person’s life?

“PTSD can affect a person’s ability to work, perform day-to-day activities or relate to their family and friends. … In fact, up to 80 per cent of people who have long-standing PTSD develop additional problems – most commonly depression, anxiety, and alcohol or other substance misuse”.

6.7 Can PTSD cause physical symptoms?

“These are other symptoms of PTSD: Panic attacks: a feeling of intense fear, with shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, nausea and racing heart. Physical symptoms: chronic pain, headaches, stomach pain, diarrhea, tightness or burning in the chest, muscle cramps or low back pain.”

6.8 What does PTSD do to a person?

“Most people who have been exposed to traumatic events develop feelings of anger, shock, fear, guilt, and anxiety. … A person who has PTSD develops unusually strong feelings after such an event that they prevent an individual from living a purposeful life”.

6.9 How do you cope with PTSD?

“Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, massage, or yoga can activate the body’s relaxation response and ease symptoms of PTSD. Avoid alcohol and drugs. When you’re struggling with difficult emotions and traumatic memories, you may be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.11 Jun 2019″.

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7. How do you help someone who is grieving

7.1 How do you help someone who is grieving?

  1. “Listen rather than talk. Allowing your bereaved friend or family member to talk about the person who died can really help them cope with their grief”.
  2. “Let them express their emotions”.
  3. “Be specific”.
  4. “Be patient”.
  5. “Suggest an activity”.

1 Mar 2019

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8. Grief and Bereavement

8.1 What is grief and bereavement?

“Grief, bereavement and mourning are all used to describe the reaction to losing someone you love, but they have slightly different meanings. Both bereavement and mourning are part of grieving. Grief is a normal reaction to the loss of a loved one. Bereavement is the state of having suffered the loss of a loved one”.

8.2 What is the difference between grief and bereavement?

“Grief may be experienced as a mental, physical, social or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness, and despair. Bereavement is the period after a loss during which grief is experienced and mourning occurs”.

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9. Mourning and Grieving

9.1 What are some forms of mourning?

“Grief is more than just sadness”

“Grief can manifest itself in the form of immense emotional and physical suffering, and we may experience anything from anger to denial, to guilt, to sadness and despair. Initially, people who experience grief may experience confusion, shock, and disbelief that their loved one has passed. 27 Feb 2017″.

9.2 What is the difference between mourning and grieving?

“In other words, grief is the internal meaning given to the experience of loss. Mourning is when you take the grief you have on the inside and express it outside of yourself. Another way of defining mourning is “grief gone public” or “the outward expression of grief.” There is no one right or only way to mourn. 30 Jan 2016″.

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10. Grief and Depression

10.1 Can grieving cause depression?

“If grief continues and causes a prolonged and deep depression with physical symptoms such as poor sleep, loss of appetite, weight loss, and even thoughts of suicide, you may have a condition known as complicated bereavement. Talk with your doctor as soon as possible. 13 Apr 2018″.

10.2 How do you deal with grief and depression?

“If you or someone you know has lost a loved one, the following tips may help you cope with the loss”:

  1. “Let yourself feel the pain and all the other emotions, too”.
  2. “Be patient with the process”.
  3. “Acknowledge your feelings, even the ones you don’t like”.
  4. “Get support”.
  5. “Try to maintain your normal lifestyle”.
  6. “Take care of yourself.”

More items… 10 May 2019.

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11. Getting over Grief

11.1 How do I stop grieving?

“How to cope with grief and loss”

  1. “Express yourself. Talking is often a good way to soothe painful emotions”.
  2. “Allow yourself to feel sad. It’s a healthy part of the grieving process”.
  3. “Keep your routine up”.
  4. “Sleep”.
  5. “Eat healthily”.
  6. “Avoid ‘numbing’ the pain”.
  7. “Go to counselling if it feels right for you”

11.2 How do you get over the loss of a loved one?

“Part 1 Getting Through the Grieving Process”

  1. “Tell yourself that grief is normal”.
  2. “Expect to experience the five stages of grief”
  3. “Prepare for denial or disbelief”.
  4. “Expect to feel anger”.
  5. “Expect to feel guilt”.
  6. “Prepare to feel sadness and depression”.
  7. “Learn to accept the death of your loved one”.

More items… 11 Apr 2019

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12. Links on Grief

12.1 Delayed Grief

12.2 Complicated Grief

12.3 Grief and Depression

12.4 Dealing with Grief and Loss

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13. Our Final Thoughts

Our final thoughts on this topic would be. There is no manual or instruction book on how to deal with grief. We are individuals and need to do the best thing that works for us as individuals. One important thing is that no matter what we need to take care of ourselves. This is advice my sister and I are given often and we understand why. Health and Wellbeing is something that is important as standard, but even more so during times like this.

I guess it’s about finding your own:

  • Understanding
  • Balance
  • Coping mechanism

In order that you can move forward in the best way possible for you. Support from family and friends is always an imense huge helpful factor to help see you through.

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