There are various sources of Grief. Whether your bereavement is due to a death of a beloved person, a pet, a friend,
or because of divorce or separation, or moving away from a place, the grieving process is basically the same.
If you're grieving, you might be having trouble concentrating, sleeping, eating, or feeling interested in the things you
usually enjoy. You might be trying to act like you feel OK (even if you don't).
You may wonder if you will ever get over losing someone who means so much to you. Grief can, and often does, cause
some people to feel guilty. These feelings and reactions are a normal part of the grieving process.
Grief is a natural reaction to the loss of someone important to you: it is the emotion people feel when they experience a
loss. Grief is also the name for the healing process that a person goes through after someone close has died.
It is a very similar process for those experiencing a separation or divorce.
Although everyone experiences grief when they lose someone, grieving affects people in different ways. How it affects
you partly depends on your situation and relationship with the person who died.
The grieving process is very personal and individual - each person goes through his
or her grief differently: grief is a very personal journey. Each of us grieve in different ways. Some of us proceed
quickly through our bereavement tasks. Others need longer.
It may feel impossible to recover after losing someone you love. But grief does get gradually better and become less
intense as time goes by. There are many different types of loss, and not all of them are related to death
Normal Grief Reactions
When experiencing grief, it is common to feel:
- like you are "going crazy" unable to focus or concentrate
- irritable or angry (at the deceased, oneself, others, partner, higher powers)
- frustrated or misunderstood anxious, nervous, or fearful
- like you want to "escape" guilt or remorse
- ambivalence numbness
|a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and
a time to die;
a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up
that which is planted;
A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;
A time to weep, and
a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and
a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and
a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and
a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and
a time to lose;
a time to keep, and
a time to cast away;
a time to sow;
a time to keep silence, and
a time to speak;
A time to love, and
a time to hate;
a time of war; and
a time of peace.
(Attributed to King Solomon)
List I List II
- denial, Shock and numbness (mechanical functioning and social insulation)
- bargaining, Yearning and searching (intensely painful feelings of loss)
- depression and Disorganization and despair
- acceptance Reorganization (re-entry into a more 'normal' social life.)
Which List Is Right? Both. Each is descriptive of some of the emotions and functions we go through when we lose a
loved one. Grief, like so many other things in our complex lives, can't be reduced to a neat list with absolute
definitions, time-lines, strategies, goals, and completion dates. Would that it were so easy
Remember that the grief process is not linear, but is more often experienced in cycles. Grief is sometimes compared to
climbing a spiral staircase where things can look and feel like you are just going in circles, yet you are actually making
Grief is as individual as those of us who feel it, and as varied as the circumstances of death which occur. No matter
how you choose to grieve, there's no one right way to do it. The grieving process is a gradual one that lasts longer for
some people than others. There may be times when you worry that you'll never enjoy life the same way again, but this
is a natural reaction after a loss.
How do you know if your grief has been going on too long? Well-meaning friends and family might tell a grieving
person they need to "move on" after a loss. Unfortunately, makes people think they're grieving wrong or too long, or
that they're not normal. Every person takes his or her own time to heal after a loss.
The way someone grieves a particular loss and the time it takes is very individual. We might even end up being
confused about when we should be done grieving. Actually, we'll probably never be done, because there is no
completion date to grieving... let your emotions flow through the stages of grief.
|Bill of Rights for the Bereaved
- Do not make me do anything I do
not wish to do
- Let me cry
- Allow me to talk about the
- Do not force me to make quick
- Let me act strangely sometimes.
- Let me see that you are grieving,
- When I am angry, do not discount it.
- Do not speak to me in platitudes.
- Listen to me, please!
- Forgive me my trespasses, my
rudeness and my
Taken from the book How Can I Help?
Reaching out to Someone Who is
Grieving by June Cerza Kolf.
|Deal with guilt, real of imagined.
- Eat well.
- Exercise regularly.
- Nurture yourself.
- Join a group of others who are
- Associate with old friends also.
- Postpone major decisions.
- Record your thoughts in a journal.
- Turn Grief into creative energy.
- Take advantage of a religious
- Get professional help if needed.
No matter how deep your sorrow, you are not
alone. Others have been there and will help
share your load if you will let them.
|Bereavement, Death, Divorce and other loss
Grief and Grieving: Stages/Process of Grief & Grieving/Bereavement
Feelings of loss are very personal and only you know what is significant to you. Examples include:
Loss of a close friend Death of a parent, child (see below), sibling or relative
Subtle or less obvious losses can also cause strong feelings of grief, even though those around you may not know
the extent of your feelings. Some examples include:
- Loss of health through illness Loss of mental ability
- Death of a pet Change of job
- Move to a new home Graduation from school
- Loss of a physical ability Loss of financial security
- Leaving home Divorce-separation
Sudden versus Predictable Loss
Sudden or shocking losses--due to events like crimes, accidents, or suicide--can be traumatic.
There is no way to prepare.
Predictable losses--like those due to terminal illness-- sometimes allow more time to prepare for the loss.
events, if not the most, that a family can experience.
Very often, such losses are not neither predictable nor
expected, and those are even more difficult to absorb.
And while all losses of loved ones are devastating,
perhaps the loss of a child is one of the worst (see
Death Of A Child).
Death is too often still a taboo subject today, yet few people will go through life without experiencing the loss of
someone important to them.
Death is a part of life, it is inevitable and sooner or later we all have to face up to the reality of it.
We learn how to continue to function in spite of our losses through grieving.
How well we manage this will affect our quality of life
and how we subsequently relate emotionally to others throughout our lives.
You may also find, "Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep", "For A Reason", "Miss Me,
But Let Me Go", to be helpful.
During the times of grief we all need extra support - you may find something helpful to
carry you through the day,
or through such times by visiting our Inspire-Encourage-Comfort page.
Klaas Tuinman MA
Dawn Cove Abbey
Deerfield, (Yarmouth County) Nova Scotia, Canada
|Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman MA, © 2007-2017
Questions and comments welcomed.