What is Grief? + What to Expect When You Lose a Loved One
It’s something we all feel at different points in our lives. However, even though it’s common, not everyone understands what it is or what to expect when it happens.
Whether you’re experiencing loss now or trying to support a friend who is grieving, we hope that the resource below can be helpful as you navigate this time.
As always, if you need someone to talk to about what you’re going through, we highly recommend reaching out to a trusted grief counselor who can help you begin to heal in a way that is best for you.
What is Grief?
Grief is a type of sorrow that is typically attributed to the death of a Loved One. Even though it’s most commonly thought of as an emotional reaction to loss, the pain of losing someone you love can have major, lasting impact on just about every aspect of your life. This includes your physical, spiritual, and social wellbeing.
Grief, which can also be referred to as mourning or bereavement, is a unique experience for each person. No two people will grieve in exactly the same way. However, there are some common things you can expect during your own grief journey.
What to Expect When You’re Grieving
You may feel different than other people.
Everyone grieves in a different way. Some people will want to have some time alone to process their thoughts while others will surround themselves with family and friends. Some people will start to feel better after just a couple of days while others will take longer. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, so try your best not to compare yourself to anyone else.
You could experience unexpected feelings.
Grief isn’t just about tears and sadness. In fact, it may be accompanied by other unexpected emotions. You may find yourself angry about what you’re going through or even numb to some of the pain of the shock. Let yourself experience all of these feelings as they happen, knowing that they are completely normal.
You may find simple tasks difficult.
To many people, grief can be a heavy burden that makes even the simplest of tasks feel difficult. As you cope with loss, you may have a harder time completing chores or managing your workload. That’s okay. Be as patient with yourself as possible and don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
You will have to relearn how to do certain things.
If the person who died was a big part of your life, you will have to relearn how to go about your day without them. If you ate dinner with them every night, you’ll have to learn what it’s like to not have them there. If you met them for a walk every Saturday, you may have to start going alone or find a new group to join. It may take a while before these changes become your new normal.
Your grief will change with time.
Your grief will change as the days go on and you begin to heal. The grief you feel the first day after a loss will be significantly different than the grief you feel a year later. Even certain holidays like Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Grandparent’s Day can trigger your grief in ways you may not expect. Listen to your emotions and give yourself the space to accept them each time.
Find Comfort by Staying Close to Your Late Loved One
One way to cope with grief and find comfort in your time of loss is to come up with ways to continue to feel close to your Loved One’s spirit. You can do this by looking through old photo albums, spending time with others who knew them, or personalizing memorial Jewelry with their fingerprint.
When you intentionally stay connected to your late Loved One, your grief may lessen as you remember that they are still with you in your heart.
If you are grieving, please accept our sympathy for your loss. We are thinking of you today and always.