Complicated grief takes place when someone gets stuck in grief. They have difficulty moving beyond the pain of their loss. Getting Back to Life When Grief Won't Heal
by Phyllis Kosminsky is an excellent book on the subject. Kosminsky suggests that as many as one out of three people who experience a close personal loss can find themselves unable to move into healing after loss.
“Is the Situation Hopeless?”
Kosminsky promises that the situation is not hopeless. She has worked with hundreds of people who felt they would never move beyond their pain. She knows that healing can be experienced even for those in difficult grief situations.
Some Causes of Complicated Grief
Moving Through Grief
Kosminsky says, “Most people journeying through grief have a sense that although the terrain is difficult and frightening, at least they are moving through it, however slowly and erratically. What they’re experiencing is painful, but the nature and intensity of the pain changes from day to day. For people who get stuck, nothing seems to change. It’s as though the death happened yesterday. (p. 149-150)”
The goal is not to take away the pain for those who are stuck in grief, but to “uncomplicate” their grief—so they can move along the grief journey.
Road to Healing Complicated Grief
Suggestions gleaned from Getting Back to Life When Grief Won't Heal
Kosminsky provides several chapters that delve into the specifics of the causes of complicated grief, as well as many helpful real life examples of people who have been stuck in grief and their recovery.
Return to Stages of Grief to learn more about the grief process.
Return to Bereavement books.
Read about Trauma Awareness and Healing.
Read other Articles on Grief.
Mary J Luquette worked through complicated grief by becoming a textile artist. Her story and beautiful quilts can be seen on this link.