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8 Things to Know About Grief

I’ve provided support to numerous grieving clients and families. I’m sharing things I wish everyone knew about grief. By the end of this blog you will have a sense of what grief is and what I wish you knew about it.


Grieving man

What is Grief?


Grief is your reaction to loss. Your reaction to loss is unique and based on many different factors (life experiences, personality, coping style, spirituality, support network, etc…). Grief involves a series of losses in response to change and impacts the way you feel physically, emotionally, and spirituality as well as the way you respond to yourself, others, and the world. The experience of grief is personal, meaning it is unique to each person and universal, meaning every human being grieves. Grieving helps you integrate loss into your day-to-day functioning and find a new normal.


8 Things to Know About Grief


#1 Grief is Not a Clinical Diagnosis, Depression, or Illness

Grief is a normal part of being human not a clinical diagnosis. Learn more about the difference between Grief and Depression Here.


#2 Talking About Grief is for Everyone

It takes concentrated effort to build the skills needed to show up to loss. Talking about grief bolsters your familiarity with the skills needed so that grief doesn’t feel as scary, foreign, or abnormal to you when you perceive loss.


#3 Grief Doesn't Have a Timeline

There is an expectation that after a certain timeframe you shouldn’t feel emotions about a loss anymore. There is no timeline with grief. Typically, pain dulls with the passing of time, and we adapt to the loss, but grief never fully goes away. This is a part of being human.


#4 There isn't a Protocol for Grief

Many people have heard of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief. Her model is extremely helpful in naming what goes on inside the experience of grief. However, these stages were not meant to be instructions or strict protocol. Check out the Five Stages Here


#5 Grief is Not Only Sadness

Grief is a mixture of emotions, not one. There is also no right or wrong feeling inside the experience of grief. Anything you feel is right.


#6 Children Grieve Differently Than Adults

Helping children cope with loss starts with transparent, accurate, developmentally appropriate conversations about loss. Parents often assume that their child is going to grieve the same way that they do. This isn’t true. Children may not understand everything they are told about loss. Children’s experience of grief grows and matures as they age and can show up throughout childhood in all sorts of ways. Keep the lines of communication open and continue to check in with your child. More information on how children grieve can be found here.


#7 Grief is Physical

Exhaustion, fatigue, weight changes, appetite changes, aches/pains, tension, etc… can happen within the experience of grief.


#8 Grief Has Cognitive Impacts

Difficulty concentrating, attention troubles, forgetfulness, trouble processing information, etc… can happen within the experience of grief.



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