What is Grief?

Grief is the normal reaction to loss, a universal experience that results in a deprivation of some kind.  We will encounter many losses throughout our lives but the death of someone we love is seen as the ultimate loss.

There is no one style of grief, no set time line for how long it will last or how hard it will hit us such that every one will experience grief differently.  What is common is the broad range of feelings and behaviors that one may have. These may include but not limited to:

Feelings: sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, yearning, loneliness, helplessness, numbness

Physical sensations: tightness in the chest, throat; a hollowness in the stomach, feeling shortness of breath, lack of energy, tiredness, the “world doesn’t seem real”.

Thoughts: disbelief, confusion, preoccupation with the deceased.

Behaviors: sleep disturbances, appetite disturbances, absent-minded behavior, restlessness, crying, social withdrawal.

This is not a complete list nor is this true for everyone!

“Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain.
It is a sorting process.
One by one you let go of things that are gone
And you mourn for them.
One by one you take hold of the things that have become a part of
Who you are and build again.”

-Rachel Naomi Remen
(in Worden)

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