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Delayed grief is usually more difficult to overcome.
Not only is depression more prevalent, the survivor is faced with a less supportive social system than would have been available at the time of loss.
Delayed grief sometimes calls for professional assistance and guidance.
(Mourning Glory, Tracy Renee Lee, 2014)
This particular family has experienced several deaths over the past few years, but none as devastating as the most recent. The first to suffer complicated grief were the children. I noticed their behavior at the arrangement conference and spoke briefly to them about the experience of grief. They began acting out at school and other places as well. Depression became evident and one of them spoke of suicide. I advised their mother to engage professional counseling immediately. Depression and suicide are not issues to take lightly, nor upon oneself.
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Grief is sometimes mistaken for depression.
While it is true that in both circumstances sleep disturbance, changes in appetite and extreme sadness are experienced, the common loss of self-esteem found only in depression is absent in grief.
If one suspects despair in a survivor, one should suggest counseling.
Do not take the responsibility of helping a survivor through depression upon yourself.
Depression needs to be treated by a professionally trained physician.
(Mourning Glory, Tracy Renee Lee, 2014)
The next survivor to suffer complicated grief was the mother. Her grief drove her away from her family. She became extremely ill and was hospitalized. Eventually, surgery was required. Her surgical recovery was painful and she left her family. As the holiday season arrived, the mother reunited with a man from her past. Her children and husband were devastated. Not only were they in the midst of grief recovery, now their family was falling apart.
These circumstances are difficult for a family. Children in particular do not understand what is going on and may inwardly take responsibility. When a family member dies, the family structure has been disrupted, and the adjustment is frightening. One hopes that the family can pull together and overcome the difficulties of grief by mutual support. When a family is unable to accomplish grief recovery, they begin to experience failures in all aspects of life. Unfortunately, failure in the home is often insurmountable.
After the holidays had passed, the mother was reunited with her children and husband. Her family has a tough time ahead of them. They must now recover from the death of a loved one and the devastating actions of the mother. She too has a difficult road ahead of her. She must recover from the death of her loved one, the physical and psychological ailments of her complicated grief, her devastating abandonment of her children and husband, the judgments of friends and family, and the guilt she will now suffer from her holiday affair.
This family is suffering an extreme crisis along with complicated grief. They need professional counseling and assistance. The mother’s physical health is compromised, and her psychological well-being is teetering. If things are not adequately addressed, her children and husband may develop deeper psychological ailments.
It would behoove others to support this family through this crisis, but most likely, they will be judged harshly. The last six months of their lives have been posted all over social media. Their actions and thoughts have been openly displayed for public view. People who do not know the underlying contributions of their complicated grief have seen the crisis unfold before their eyes. This family has much to overcome.
My observations and recommendations for this family remain unwavering. They need to engage professional counseling. It is unlikely, considering their experiences, that recovery will materialize without professional guidance in place. Although they have reunited, the issues they are battling will most likely overtake them if they do not learn necessary coping and recovery skills. My heart aches for them. They are suffering excruciating pain and anguish. Their issues, however, are beyond the scope of assistance from untrained professionals. If they hope to achieve recovery and success, they must turn to a counselor who specialized in crisis management and recovery.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.