Chapter 2: Understanding prolonged grief
Factors contributing to prolonged grief
Certain factors that may increase the likelihood of a person experiencing prolonged grief.
Click each box below to learn more about these factors.
- The person who died was your spouse or partner.
- The person who died was your child (of any age).
- The person who died was someone you were highly dependent on (e.g., when your spouse or partner was also your caregiver).
- The death was violent (e.g., suicide, homicide, or accident).
- You found, saw, or identified the body of the person who died.
- There were issues related to how you were notified of the death.
- You have little or no support from family and/or friends.
- You had difficult early-life relationships with parents, caregivers, or guardians.
If your loss or your grief is unacknowledged and/or unsupported by your community or society, this may also contribute to the experience of prolonged grief.
The factors mentioned above do not necessarily indicate that a person will experience prolonged grief; however, these factors in combination with other aspects of a person’s life can contribute to a person’s grief experience.