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Every person’s experience of grief is unique. It may take some time for a loss to hit home for some people. Years after experiencing a loss, a delayed grieving reaction may suddenly appear. These feelings may catch you off guard and maybe leave you feeling confused.

What is Delayed Grief?

When you delay confronting your sorrow reaction rather than doing so immediately, you experience delayed grief. You construct a mental barrier around your emotions to prevent them from overwhelming you. Some people might compliment you on your fortitude or how well you manage the loss.

This delayed response results from your inability to cope immediately with the emotional burden of your grief or the reality of your loss. You might have been a tiny child, or your loss might have come suddenly or in a traumatizing manner.

How Does it Work?

Delayed grief occurs when anything prevents you from accepting your suffering when it happens. Someone with a delayed reaction can still experience all the stages of grief. These actions elucidate the process and cause of the longer reaction time.

A Sudden Traumatic Event

You suffer a sudden loss or change, witness one, or are significantly affected by it. Your sense of stability is rocked by the loss, which comes on you like an avalanche. It’s startling and nearly unbelievable.

The loss of a loved one frequently causes grief-related emotions. However, a person can lament the loss of their old way of life, a dream job, material possessions, or financial security. You can accept your grief as it comes over you when the loss occurs. However, if you feel unable to deal with it for some reason, you can advance to the next stage of delayed grieving, which is feeling stunned.

Feeling Stunned or Not Ready to Grieve

You immediately conclude that this loss is currently too much for you. Either you lead a regular life, or this anguish consumes you. You have a period of being stuck and unsure of what to do.

Putting Off Grief

You put on a mask that says, “I’m fine, I’m strong,” to the outside world. You carry on living your regular life for a while. You may eventually persuade yourself that you’re alright and the loss doesn’t hurt you too much. Some might even remark on how resilient and stable you are despite everything.

Your sorrow hasn’t vanished; it has been postponed. It’s because you haven’t dealt with it or addressed it head-on. You can’t keep your grief at bay forever, so it waits to flood in some time.

Trigger for Grief to Begin

Your grief’s catalyst could abruptly awaken you from your trance. Or your grief might progressively overtake you when your emotional façade breaks down. Your response will come over you as soon as your guard is down. You can feel as though stress and emotions are engulfing you. You can experience confusion and wonder why it’s occurring.

You understand this is your out-of-sync grief manifesting, and you now have a decision to make – either you can accept your sorrow and feel all of your feelings, or you can hide your grief and put it away once more.


You can start to deal with your emotions if you don’t push the grief off once more. Since the loss, you may have developed and changed. Perhaps you now have a greater understanding of the circumstance, or you have developed emotionally as you have aged. Maybe you came into personal assistance that you hadn’t before. In any event, this is your moment to process your loss.

In daily life, emotions will come and go. Since grief has no temporal limit, experiencing emotional ups and downs periodically is typical. With the help of loved ones, you can easily learn to cope with your loss.

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