It’s almost Christmas and no one wants to think about the possibility of losing a loved one, but tragic incidents occur even during the most wonderful time of the year. If a loved one of yours does pass away during the holiday season, it can be helpful to know about the grieving process, especially what is normal and abnormal.
We are individuals, but there is a point where some people might want to turn to a professional for extra help during a difficult grieving time. Experts share their insight into the grieving process for your benefit.
Tracy Greene Mintz, a licensed clinical social worker, said in an email that here are some signs of normal grieving:
2) “Changes in appetite”
3) “Talking to the deceased”
4) “Changes in sleep”
5) “Questioning one’s life, choices, etc.”
6) “Using your normal coping strategies, such as smoking, having a drink, comfort eating”
8) “Focusing on your own health”
Greene Mintz said some behaviors can be caused by grief, but still are not healthy and the person engaging in them could need professional help. Here are some signs of abnormal grieving:
1) “Drinking to excess, or abusing pills to sleep.”
2) “Grief that inhibits daily functioning after a day or two, such as not being able to get out of bed, eat, bathe, etc.”
3) “Extreme and abrupt changes in lifestyle, such as moving or getting married/divorced, quitting your job. (Distinguish here between thinking about doing those things, which is normal, and impulsively acting).”
4) “Suicidal ideation if they think they can't live without the deceased, or [want] to join them. Suicidal ideation is a fairly common extreme reaction and requires immediate intervention.”
Rev. Gabrielle Michel, a grief recovery specialist and founder and president of Graceful Grieving, Inc., said in an email that current culture doesn’t promote a healthy grieving process.
“Grief cannot be effectively processed in a ‘drive-thru, microwave, three-day bereavement leave’ manner,” Michel said.
There can be a long-term recovery process while grieving, and that’s fine.
“Grief requires taking action toward your recovery,” Michel said.