What is "normal" in grief?

Brian J. Arizmendi, Mary Frances O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Research conducted over the past two decades has revealed that grief, a common phenomenon experienced by many people following the loss of a loved one, is rarely experienced as a steady progression from high acuity (intensity) to eventual resolution. Instead of this single "traditional" path, four distinct trajectories are supported by empirical data: resilience, chronic grief, depressed-improved, and chronic depression. Furthermore, a small subset of individuals never fully integrate the loss into their life, and continue to experience severe disruption in daily life many years after the loss event, a phenomenon known as Complicated Grief (CG). Continued empirical research will help further our understanding of the normative grief process and CG as a disorder. This information is crucial for informing clinicians of best practices when attending to those suffering from loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Bereavement
  • Complicated Grief
  • Grief
  • Grief trajectories
  • Grief treatment
  • Immune system
  • Widow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care


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