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Understanding Grief

What is Grief?

“Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind. It is the conflicting feelings caused by a change in or an end in a familiar pattern of behavior. Grief is about a broken heart not a broken brain.” – Grief Recovery Method

Grief can be an overwhelming emotion whether the loss stems from ongoing health issues, a terminal diagnosis, the death of a loved one or any number of events ranging from the ending of a relationship to the loss of independence through physical disability.

Grief affects the physical, behavioral, and cognitive responses as well. Many people worry that they are “going crazy” or “falling apart” and wonder if the feelings they are having are strange or abnormal. Grief reactions change over time as one moves through the mourning process. Here are some normal reactions to grief one may experience :

  • Initial shock, numbness, being in a daze
  • Guilt at what you did or did not do
  • Loneliness, sadness or depression
  • Indecisiveness, difficulty in concentration, confusion, not finishing tasks
  • Restlessness, agitation, wandering aimlessly
  • Body symptoms including nausea, dizziness, digestive upsets, shortness of breath, tightness in the throat, heaviness in the chest, or other symptoms
  • Loss of interest in relationships or the outside world, loss of interpersonal warmth

Grief is all of the internal thoughts and feelings we have when facing a loss of any kind. Mourning is the outward expression of our grief. Mourning involves taking steps to explore, process and move through our grief in order to move forward on the path towards healing.

“Recovery from loss is achieved by a series of small and correct choices made by the griever. Recovery means feeling better. Recovery means claiming your circumstances instead of your circumstances claiming you or your happiness. Recovery is finding new meaning for living, without the fear of being hurt again.” – Grief Recovery Method

Helpful Resources: