When a person suffers a major loss, there are several ways of making the loss palatable to the psyche.
1. Depression, which is a way to punish oneself for allowing the loss to happen.
2. Refusing to accept that the loss took place.
3. Refusing to accept the significance of the loss.
4. Substituting the lost object with a new object of attachment.
2 is pathological because it leads to delusion. 1 is very unhealthy, as well. 3 and 4 are better because they aren’t self-destructive.
I’m writing all this because I know somebody who is stuck in 2, and it’s really scary. It’s the “he didn’t really leave me, and I know for sure because he’s sending me messages with the color pattern of his clothes” kind of stuff.