Yesterday I laid out a five-point “Grief Condition” model, but with the caveat that it could stand to be adjusted somewhat. It didn’t take long to come up with a more flexible version that allows for a wider range of emotional responses.
The first version only allowed for tears, but grief comes with more than just sadness. This version doesn’t specify any single response, so it allows for other emotions such as anger, guilt, loneliness, etc., as follows:
- GRIEFCON 5: “Normal” life, with grief (rare emotional reactions, prompted by especially poignant reminders or memories)
- GRIEFCON 4: “Normal” grief, with life (occasional emotional reactions, at ordinarily benign reminders)
- GRIEFCON 3: Significant grief (unexpected emotional reactions, at even happy reminders)
- GRIEFCON 2: Overwhelming grief (frequent emotional reactions, approaching outbursts, with little prompting)
- GRIEFCON 1: Maximum grief (nearly constant, strong emotional outbursts, brought on by next to nothing)
And as before, beyond GRIEFCON 1 would be nuclear grief: total war with myself, deep despair, characterized by constant, crushing floods of emotion.
It’s still not a perfect model, but it may be useful. And, for the record, today I think I’m still in GRIEFCON 3.