Translated from « La psychologie de la mort et du deuil », Josée Jacques, 1998
Besides grief related to mental health disorders, there are four forms of complex grief:
Absent grief : There are no signs of grief in the bereaved person following a major bereavement , as if the death has not occurred. When grief is denied it shows up somewhere else; physical problems, depression, erratic or angry behaviour. The absence of feeling may last for years;
Delayed grief : The symptoms of grief appear long after the death of the loved one. Although some grieving is done at the time, it is not sufficient for the loss and grief surfaces later. Often mourning has been postponed due to the overwhelming demands of the moment. But grief can not be put off indefinitely. Sooner or later, some unrelated loss will trigger the grief that has been repressed. When it is finally let loose, suppressed grief is often more intense than if it had been expressed when the loss occurred;
Distorted grief : Emotions of sadness and sorrow are avoided and replaced with other emotions such as great anger or guilt. These extreme emotions divert the attention of the bereaved and allow them to avoid feeling their grief;
Chronic grief : Prolonged mourning that never seems to end. Even if the bereaved are conscious that their grief is prolonged unduly, they are incapable of ending it without intense feelings of guilt.