Adult Grief After a Traumatic Death

Although interacting with others through the criminal justice system may satisfy the need for activity, anger and frustration may increase as men learn more about the system’s inadequacies. This only adds to their mental anguish, drive to do something concrete and specific, and can result in rage. Men can be obsessive about staying busy. Some men work longer hours or take more business trips in an effort to “do” something. In order to stay busy, men may participate in risk-taking behaviors, physical conditioning, sports and increased sexual activity. These things are not necessarily bad, but if used as substitutes for grief by consuming physical and psychological energy, time and money, they may not be serving you well.

Experiencing your feelings is a part of the healing journey.

In some instances, men are faced with the death of their sexual partner. Some widowers decide that they must now abstain from any sexual relationship, as if that is the inevitable outcome of losing their sexual partner. Or they may feel the need for emotional

intensity, kissing, hugging, affection and tenderness, which is a normal, healthy need to stay connected. Grieving can also cause temporary impotence, but it usually isn’t permanent and subsides during the grieving experience. Many believe that the slightly higher death rate for men than women after the death of a spouse may be the result of this increased activity and repressed grief and mourning. Physical symptoms include increased cholesterol levels, ulcers, higher blood pressure, asthma, and depression. Avoidance of expressing grief-related feelings can also lead to escalating anger. Men may feel angry at doctors, their spouse, their surviving children, the law enforcement agency, God, the world in general, and even themselves. Anger can set up a barrier against the pain. When anger blocks out feelings of sadness, grief work is difficult to accomplish. Some men’s addictive behaviors escalate, such as abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Addictions increase among both grieving men and women, but more so among men. The addiction numbs painful emotions. Since alcohol and other drugs reduce judgment, angry outbursts can become frequent, adding to family chaos.


Made with FlippingBook HTML5