What is grief?
Grief is a natural response to loss. It is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. It might be the loss of a loved one, relationship, pregnancy, pet, job or way of life. Other experiences of loss may involve children leaving home, infertility or separation from friends and family. Grief can occur after a serious illness, a divorce or other significant losses.
The more significant the loss, the more distress is likely. In these cases, grief counselling may help. Grief has no set pattern. It is expressed differently across different cultures. Some people are expressive and public with their emotions, while others prefer to keep grief private.
Everyone experiences grief differently. Some people may grieve for weeks and months, while others may describe their grief lasting for years. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining, making it hard to do simple things or even leave the house.
For most people, the intensity of grief eases over time and the episodes of grief become less frequent. While sadness is often associated with the loss, healthy grieving involves coming to terms with the impermanence and uncertainty of life, transforming the nature of the continuing bond with the deceased in a form that acknowledges their passing and rebuilding capacity to experience pleasure and happiness again.
New experiences and habits are often created following loss and some people even grow in wisdom and strength.