6 Types Of Grief

6 types of grief

Grief is a state where all people find themselves many times in their lives. Even before we are born, we are already beginning to experience loss. There is suffering associated with every grief that should be addressed and ignored.

A common factor in all types of grief is loss. But given that losses can be very diverse, there are also different types of grief. We are talking about “evolutionary grief” when we refer to the loss associated with the transition from one age to another. There are also “social sorrows” such as job loss, retirement, exile, etc.

“Only people who are able to love intensely can experience great pain, but this same need to love prevents their grief, and it cures them.”

-Leo Tolstoi-

However, the greatest difficulties come with the sorrows of losing a loved one, especially through death. This is mainly due to the severance of the bond. But everything else remains intact. The love that formed the bond, and the dreams, fantasies, and desires that accompanied it. That is why the suffering is so intense and requires so much work to get over it. From the perspective of affective loss, there are several types of grief that we describe next.

Proactive grief

This grief begins when you become aware that you will suffer an impending loss, but it has not yet happened. This happens, for example, when you are going through a divorce or a long journey. Or when someone suffers from an incurable disease and death is inevitable.

get free

The difference between this and other griefs is that in anticipatory grief, emotions tend to be ambivalent and unstable, as the person is still in it and the mourner moves between intimacy and distance. He wants to experience the presence of his loved ones for the last time. But to bring about it he fears the sense of commitment it creates. In these cases, it is best to express your feelings freely and directly with the person who is leaving.

Missing grief

In this kind of grief, the person suppresses their feelings. They try to behave as if nothing is happening. In fact, if a matter is brought up, they do not give it any more significance than any other matter.

In this case, there is a mechanism called denial. The impact is so great that the person does not feel able to face it. Therefore, he focuses on other areas of his life. The problem is that hidden grief always comes on. Whether it was irritability, anxiety, or physical illness, among other things.

Chronic grief

Chronic grief occurs when someone fails to deal with the loss of a loved one. One way or another, he refuses to accept what happened. Instead, he focuses on keeping the memories of the obsessively lost person alive. He paralyzes his life and remains in a state of constant pain.

woman at the window

People who are prone to depression are more likely to settle for this type of grief, which may also change into a lifestyle. It is characterized by anxiety, sadness, and guilt, as well as a feeling of incompetence and a feeling that they have disappointed someone. Such grief requires the help of a professional.

Late grief

This is usually the result of absent grief. Although at first a person tries to ignore his pain, after a while it is received with greater force and possibly when he least expects it. Sometimes it can take years before such grief work begins.

It may also be that someone is not experiencing grief the moment he or she experiences a loss, due to special circumstances. Such as demanding work commitments or a depressing family situation. Delayed pain occurs later and may be associated with certain complications, as it must now be experienced alone.

Prevented grief

Such grief occurs in people who have great difficulty expressing their feelings. When it comes to children, for example, they don’t seem to be able to put into words what the situation represents. Many times adults ignore their pain and they don’t help the child get over it. Adults simply think that “kids just don’t understand”.


The grief process is also prevented in people with some form of cognitive impairment. Or in situations where a father or mother tries to stay strong so they don’t affect their children. Or simply because someone is well prepared and doesn’t have a chance to talk about what he or she feels. In any case, this inhibition turns into obsession, constant depression, anxiety, etc.

Unauthorized grief

In unauthorized grief, a person’s environment expresses a fight against the pain the person is experiencing. Sooner or later, those who have not experienced similar grief try to undo this grief because they think that the grieving person should let go and go on with their lives.

However, there are special situations where mourning is forbidden from the beginning. For example, when a woman or man who had an external relationship in a marriage dies. A lover “has no right” to express his sorrow. Sometimes this can also be related to the death of the pet. For while it produces great pain, others may deny this type of suffering.

grief and tears

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