In grief and loss, we speak about tangible losses, losses, we can summarize, quantify, and then adjust and adapt to that loss. Whether it is the loss of a family member, or a relationship, or a precious thing, one can accept the fact that it gone and proceed with the healing processes of grief. The process of grief and adjusting to loss, however, is disrupting when unresolved grief occurs.
What exactly is unresolved grief? Unresolved grief is a type of complication in the grieving process that prevents a natural and healthy conclusion to the loss. It prevents the person from accepting the loss, or moving forward in a healthy fashion. It leaves the person in a type of perpetual mental limbo.
This type of reaction can be internally or externally caused. If one has issues with the deceased that were never resolved, then an emotional soup of various feelings can emerge with no particular direction towards resolution. This can occur, especially with such cases as suicide, as well as with sudden death of a loved one. In some cases, there are unresolved emotional issues between the person and deceased that were never resolved while both were alive. This can lead to unresolved feelings later.
Apart from internal causes, external causes can put one in a state of unresolved grief. When a loved one is abducted or missing, then this can lead to a perpetual state of unresolved feelings. This is perhaps one of the greatest pains a parent can feel because they are in perpetual fear and anxiety of what has happened to their child. If the case never comes to a conclusion, the parents are never mentally allowed to find acceptance in the fact their child is probably dead. Without a proper funeral, justice, or verification, the parents and family can be scarred traumatically.
So many individuals suffer grave injustices in the world. From fugitives who escape justice to mass genocide, individuals who survive these crimes, face not only personal recovery, but also a resolution in regards to justice and the conclusion found in that justice. When justice is not handed out, the unresolved grief festers within the soul and demands justice to finally give them and the victims peace. This was especially true of the Holocaust survivors who faced not only their recovery from the person trauma, but also the demand of social justice against the criminals who perpetrated the crimes.
Through trials and justice, many find the conclusion they need to finally heal completely from the loss. Seeing a murderer or rapist brought to trial, gives the victim and families the closure they need to be able to rebuild their life. Without that closure, the unresolved issues of their grief will continue to haunt them.
Unresolved grief itself can cause anxiety, depression, lead to eruptions of anger and frustration, leaving the person in a state of emotional limbo. It is because of this, that clients need help in understanding what they can control and what they cannot. It takes more than merely a certified grief counselor but also a licensed mental counselor with grief training to help an individual through unresolved grief.
If you would like to learn more about Grief Counseling or would like to become a certified Grief Counselor, then please review our program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.