What does one do when he or she is involved in a traumatic event or events that remain unresolved? Sometimes grief may become complicated when a traumatic event develops symptoms that disrupt the normal areas of functioning for an unusually extended period of time. It is obvious that a traumatic event will cause disruption. Yet for some, it goes well beyond the normal expected disruption.
In extreme cases, which is identified as unresolved or complicated grief one may show depression, insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, maybe even suicidal thoughts. In what may seem less extreme yet just as serious; unwillingness to move deceased possessions after a reasonable amount of time has passed, guilt, self-reproach or accusation, radical changes in lifestyle, somatic complaints that identify with the deceased, and identification with the deceased leading to compulsion to imitate the dead person, perhaps even exclusion of friends, family or activities associated with the deceased (excerpts taken from Lindemannís, Lazareís, & Wordenís assessments).
It may not be obvious to the one not coping well, but they need to be in therapy with someone. They are not coping. Grief is a journey that must be worked through. Individuals with these symptoms need intervention. They need to allow someone they trust to assist them in connecting with a competent counselor or therapist who may walk with them and facilitate their resolution of their past while helping them to learn how to build a new life in the present and for the future. It will not be easy, but it is possible, for others have done it before you and will do it after. Therefore you can overcome your loss as well. Do not give up hope, and do not shut others out. You will need the support of family, friends, even professionals. No one is an island to themselves. This is Sunrise.