Fascinating article this week in the NYT that suggests it’s time for a more nuanced definition of extreme grieving, what Columbia University’s Dr. M. Katherine Shear calls a “loop of suffering.” Unlike “normal” grief, or even depression, extreme grieving persists for six months or more and strips away from life any sense of meaning or purpose. Grieving of this sort has been linked to higher frequencies of drinking, suicide, even cancer.
But a recent study involving MRIs arrived at an even more provocative conclusion: when an extreme griever was shown photos of a loved one, their brain received a jolt of dopamine, indicating the possible addictive qualities of memories themselves.
When your grief, though, is of the more manageable variety, you no longer have to rely exclusively on head-to-toe black. Artist Matthew Coombes has just come out with a grief-chic line that includes everything from a single tear catcher (see above) to special finger protectors designed to preserve your cuticles in times of stress and sorrow.