Dedicated to Understanding Grief

Howard Lunche, MSW, LCSW

COMPLICATIONS TO GRIEF - Multiple Losses & Stressors

A primary loss coinciding with other significant losses or stressors can compound grief and mourning to a degree that seems impossible to accommodate and recover from. Old age, accidents, epidemics, violence, and coincidence can result in multiple losses. Loss of multiple family members, friends, or community can overwhelm our ability to feel and respond to the losses. The amount of change can seem too much to adapt to, while the pain and disruption feel insurmountable. Support people may be limited as a result of the circumstances.

Significant concurrent losses and stressors are not limited to deaths. Anything considered a “marked” change can exacerbate and complicate a grief reaction. Loss of job, income, and home are compounding stressors. Divorce, personal and family problems, demanding responsibilities, poor health, psychiatric problems, and relocation are further examples of significant, compounding losses and stressors.

Many people feel the only thing they can do is be numb and get through the day. The death of someone significant to you is reason enough to consider seeking support. The stressors mentioned here are added reason for initiating professional help with accommodating and adjusting to the huge impact and change inherent to these extreme situations. The assistance of a mental health professional can reduce suffering and risk of harm, and facilitate a healthy progression through the difficult and painful grief.

Read more about Complications on the following pages.

Complications to Grief | Alcohol & Drugs | Conflicted Relationships | Multiple Losses | Risk of Harm | Stigmas and Traumas | More Reading