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Personal Loss: Bereavement and Grief


This is the most primary state of a feeling when a close person is lost. This can either be a family member or a friend, a person who was loved and respected, and there was a personal connection. It is the state when a person who is feeling the loss is deprived of the person they enjoyed the company of and will dearly miss.

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Uncomplicated Bereavement

These types of feelings are majorly sudden and come in periods. A person might feel stable and then suddenly, they will break down in an emotional collapse. It is accompanies by crying, feeling angry and depressed, loss of appetite, closing in the self and not wanting to share own feelings with other people, even close ones (Dickenson, 2000).


Grief is defined as a more prolonged suffering due to the loss of a person with whom there was a personal connection. The period of grief might stretch indefinite amounts of time and is very hard to overcome.

Complicated Grief

Complicated grief makes it impossible for a person to accept the passing of their loved ones. It is very long lasting and severe, and an individual is forced to look for therapy because they cannot deal with the sadness by themselves. There are many other conditions that accompany this type of grief, such as becoming dull to the surrounding environment or being extremely angry with the self and others.

Prolonged Grief

This characterizes the longevity of grief as a person who lost someone cannot get used to living without the departed person. This causes great perturbations in life, and an individual cannot think of anything else except the loss.

Traumatic Grief

Traumatic grief relates to an unexpected event that took away the life of a very close person. It is usually sudden and unfair according to the moral expectancies of the society, such as a loss of a child or someone young.

Disenfranchised Grief

This kind of grief is described as a feeling of loss that is not acknowledged by the large of the society. This can be tied to previous generations, pets, physical property or moral principles. It is defined by the hard choices that people have to make within a very limited framework of the rules in any society (Wright, 2004).

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Primary Loss

This is the physical aspect of losing someone. A person is used to having their loved ones beside them, and after a person dies, there is empty space in the soul of an individual missing their family member or friend. It is classified as being of any cause, and it might not be sudden, as in the case of a prolonged illness or inborn condition.

Secondary Loss

Secondary loss is when a person who has just experienced a traumatic event, loses someone else close to them. This type of loss is extremely difficult as the snowball effect adds even more trauma and overwhelming feelings. Often, people do not understand the reasons, and ask why such a devastating thing has happened to them.

Ambiguous Loss

Ambiguous loss is when a person with some form of mental or psychological disorder, usually dementia, cannot be present morally. Even though they are alive, they are not responsive to their loved ones. One type is when a person with a disorder is cared for personally, and the other is when they are placed in an institution for treatment.


It is very much like grief, but it is characterized by the process of getting used to the absence of a close person. In some ways, it is therapeutic where a person learns to go on with the life and find answers to the most persistent questions (Rickels, 2011).


Dickenson, D. (2000). Death, Dying and Bereavement. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Rickels, L. (2011). Aberrations of Mourning. Minneapolis, MN: U of Minnesota Press.

Wright, N. (2004). Experiencing Grief. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group.

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