Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thursday's Therapy - 25 Major Reactions Socially After Your Child's Traumatic Death ~Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., Complicated Mourning - Part Six

Thursday's Therapy

25 Major Reactions Socially After Your Child's Traumatic Death

~Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., Complicated Mourning

Part Six

What are Some of the Major Reactions we might Expect After the Traumatic Distress of our Child-Loss?

Over these several weeks, we are walking through many of the myriad ways that Child-Loss grief and mourning may be impacting you. As we have said before, since we are multi-dimensional people, grief and trauma will impact us multi-dimensionally! As you probably have observed by now, grief is not the one-dimensional creature we thought it was before we began going through child-loss. Unfortunately, those around you still think your grief should be one-dimensional and therefore fairly easily worked through. So when the expectations around you begin to feel "crazy-making" to you, perhaps you can pull out these lists to remind yourself why this grief is so complicated and therefore so long-term!

Several Dimensions of our Child-Loss Grief:

  • Psychological
  • Cognitive/Mental
  • Behavioral
  • Social
  • Physical
  • Spiritual

Since each of these Dimensions of our Grief entails myriad symptoms, we are addressing one dimension of Child-Loss Grief each week. Today, we look at the Social Dimension of Child-Loss Grief due to our coping with both Trauma and Loss.

25 Major Social Reactions You May Have After Your Child's Traumatic Death:

The first 15 of these are from Dr. Rando, 2011 (In print).

The last 10 of these reactions are from observations made by Tommy and me as we grieve:

Dr. Therese Rando's 15 Major Social Reactions of Child-Loss Grief

  1. Lack of interest in other people due to preoccupation with one's beloved child and the loss
  2. Lack of interest in usual social activities
  3. Social withdrawal from others, Distancing from others
  4. Decreased interest for relationships
  5. Being critical of others
  6. Manifestations of anger with others
  7. Loss of or changes in usual patterns of social interaction
  8. Feeling alienated from others
  9. Feeling detached from others
  10. Feeling estranged from others
  11. Jealousy of others without loss
  12. Clinginess and Dependency on others in some grievers, (More Independence needed by other grievers)
  13. Avoidance of being alone in some, (Increased need for Alone time in others)
  14. Decreased motivation, energy, direction for relationships
  15. Increased manifestations of irritation with others
~Rando, 2011 (In Print)

(Parenthetical notes in numbers 12, 13 mine)

The Princes' 10 Additional Major Social Reactions of Child-Loss Grief:
  1. Hypervigilance toward potential threat from other people
  2. Feeling less understood by others in regard to the depths and demands of child-loss grief, Feeling like an outcast, or like we're walking through a parallel universe to those civilians who live outside our Child-Loss-Grief "War"
  3. Heightened awareness of toxicity of persons in order to discern which relationships are now safe
  4. Increased desire for relationships with other child-loss grievers
  5. Increased fear of hurting others due to our own awareness of how others' insensitivities have hurt us
  6. Increased or Decreased compassion toward others depending on the unique inclinations of each griever
  7. Increased desire to hear, read, or learn about the particular grief reactions of other child-loss grievers
  8. Seeking new relationships from a broader audience than one's family, church or community by searching for like-minded people via the internet or other avenues
  9. Not comfortable being in large crowds
  10. Feeling that being around other child-loss grievers is where one can be more real during deep grief: As one child-loss grieving mother said to me,

"When I go to work, that is not reality; when I am around other child-loss grievers, THAT is reality!"
~a fellow grieving mother

~Tommy and Angie Prince

Image from

Content excerpts from July 9 and 10, 2010 Lectures by Therese A. Rando, Ph.D. in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Also to be published in 2011


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