- Thanatology Today
Why Am I Not Grieving?
Updated: Mar 4, 2022
Patterns of Grief
Have you ever wondered why someone you love is not reacting to the same loss in the same way you are? Your partner may be visibly distraught, while you have not shed a tear. You may even be asking yourself, “What is wrong with me? Why am I not grieving?”
Of course, the significance of a loss varies among individuals, but we also grieve the same loss differently. The way we grieve – experience, express, and adapt to loss – can be explained in terms of our style or pattern of grief.
These patterns exist on a continuum with intuitive grievers on one end and instrumental grievers on the other end. Intuitive grievers are more affective in their display of grief, whereas instrumental grievers grieve in a more cognitive and behavioral way. However, it is rare to find grievers at either extreme, as most of us experience and express our grief in a blended fashion, even if we do lean towards one end of the spectrum.
Why am I Not Grieving? Source: Wix Media
The traditional picture of grief is intuitive grief. Intuitive grievers feel their losses deeply, mostly experiencing grief as undulations of acutely painful feelings and physical sensations. Their expression of grief – crying and other obvious signs of anguish – mirrors their inner experience. Riding the wave of emotions and expressing themselves is their primary way of coping and adapting to their loss. They may also find comfort and strength in sharing their grief with others. For the intuitive griever, managing day-to-day tasks and other practical matters are secondary to feeling the pain of the loss.
Instrumental Pattern of Grief Source: Wix Media