What is Grief?
Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone or something important to us. Anyone can experience grief and loss but everyone is unique in how he or she copes with these feelings. The most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of other people. Most especially, support from those with experience in dealing with personal loss can help ease the pain and promote healing. Resources for such grief support are provided on this page.
Because grief is a normal emotional reaction, it is not a pathological condition. Everyone experiences and expresses such losses in their own way and in their own time. So, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. There are, however, more healthy or helpful means of expressing and coping with the painful feelings. These will eventually allow for healing and recovery.
It is normal to feel sad, numb or even angry following a major loss such as the death of a loved one. Feelings of grief can linger long after the loss. Those feelings can arise during holidays, anniversaries, birthdays or even unexpected times. It is not uncommon to be “ambushed by grief” because of a sound, a smell or a memory. Eventually, these emotions should become less intense as you accept the loss and start to move forward.
If you feel your grief-related thoughts, behaviors or feelings are unrelenting and interfering with your daily life for an extended period of time, it may mean you need to reach out for professional help. It can be helpful to seek support from persons or organizations experienced in the grief process.