Are there different types of grief?
In addition to the feelings of grief that you will experience following a loss, there are also other types of grief that you may experience at different types during bereavement.
Anticipatory grief is a sense of loss that we feel when we are expecting a death. It features many of the same symptoms as those experienced after a death has occurred, including depression, extreme sadness or concern for the dying person. It does not necessarily replace, reduce or make grief after the loss any easier or shorter, but for some people it can provide the opportunity to prepare for the loss and for what the future might look like.
After any loss you may also feel what is known as 'secondary loss'. After the initial shock of losing a loved one you may struggle when thinking of future experiences that those people will not be there to share or see, such as watching your children grow up, meeting partners or attending key life events like weddings.
Cruse Bereavement Care's website has information on coping with anniversaries and reminders of your loved one when you are bereaved.
Bereavement is tough. All the 'happy times' that have followed Ruth’s death are tinged with a deep sadness for me.
How long does grief tend to last?
There is no time limit on grief and this varies hugely person to person. The time spent in a period of bereavement will be different for everybody and depends on factors such as the type of relationship, the strength of attachment or intimacy to the person who died, the situation surrounding their death, and the amount of time spent anticipating the death.