Chapter 1 What is traumatic grief?

Understanding the family’s grief

Additional Videos
Cultural expressions of grief(3:22)Video transcript


You may see varying expressions of grief from admission through after a person has died. When families become aware that death is probable or certain, they often experience 

anticipatory grief

Anticipatory grief itself refers to psychological distress experienced in the present but influenced by previous losses in tandem with anticipated future losses.


and express some degree of psychological distress.
Grief is experienced along a continuum, from minimal to severe levels of distress, and may fluctuate, from day to day or even hour to hour. It is also often influenced by 

sociocultural factors

Examples of sociocultural factors include ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious or spiritual inclinations, education, gender, family history, etc.

. Grief may be expressed “out loud” as mourning, it may be barely observable, or anywhere in between. 


Grief reactions may vary