Chapter 2: Grief and people with intellectual disabilities
The thing about grief is that it’s something you shouldn’t be ashamed to feel. It's better to tell people about it than hold it in. If you keep holding it in, it can only bring you more down instead of bringing you up.
In general, each individual expresses their grief in their own way, and this is no different for people with intellectual disabilities. For example, some people may take longer to realize that the person who has died won’t be coming back, while others may need to talk about or express their grief over a long period of time. It is important to remember that each person’s grief has its own rhythm and timing.
Many people with intellectual disabilities also experience grief from other types of loss aside from death, such as caregiver turnover, moves, or loss of capacity as illness progresses. They may long for marriage, education, or employment and grieve losses connected to such life roles. These multi-layered losses may be unknown to or unrecognized by caregivers and friends.