About grief

From Mission Hospice & Home Care

Grief is a normal response to loss. It is painful to lose someone you love, and the pain of loss can be profound. Each of us experiences grief differently. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief can affect all aspects of our lives– psychological, physical, social, and spiritual.

Grief may involve many different emotions – sadness, loneliness, guilt, anger, helplessness, anxiety, fear, confusion, and relief. And while grief, for many, is intensely emotional, there are those who grieve quite deeply in other ways. Some may explore their grief and the issues and questions it raises through reading or writing. Others may grieve more actively by doing things that were important to their loved one or by becoming involved in a meaningful cause. It is important to remind ourselves that there are many ways to grieve; this prevents us from making judgments about how others are grieving, or how we, ourselves, grieve.

Grief may make it difficult to concentrate, remember things, and make decisions. This is a normal part of grief.

Grieving people may feel exhausted much of the time. It takes a great deal of energy to carry intense feelings of grief and learn to live without our loved one. It is common to experience a change in sleep patterns, a loss of appetite, and other physical symptoms. It is important to see a doctor before you assume symptoms are due to grief.

Grief prompts us to question and search for meaning. Our belief in the order and kindness of the world may be shaken. We may question our spiritual beliefs. We may ask, “why?” and ponder the meaning of our own death.

The process of grief offers choices. You can choose to grieve in a way that is right for you. Grief challenges us to find our unique strengths and offers the opportunity for transformation through personal growth and new meaning in our lives. We do not “get over” grief and return to “normal.” Grief changes us forever.

Because grief is a normal response to loss, it is not something that needs to be treated. But support groups and individual grief counseling can be a great source of support for those who are grieving or facing the death of a loved one.