Grief can mean a lot of different things. You might have heard people talk about a “process” and the different emotions people experience when they’re grieving. Basically, grief is something that people experience after they’ve suffered a loss. The loss can be a death, or a big change that separates you from a person or thing. Grief is how people respond to loss emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Different kinds of loss
Death is one of the ways that you can lose someone, but you can also lose someone to a breakup, a move, a divorce, a broken friendship, or some other change. Other kinds of loss involve changes that happen inside of you. For example, the loss of your spirituality, beliefs that you once held, or dreams that didn’t come true, can make you grieve. A sudden illness or disability can also cause you to grieve.
How does it feel?
Grief can feel pretty heavy, but it’s important to remember that it is a healthy response to something that has happened to you. It might also help you to know that grief lets up over time. Here are some of the common feelings of grief:
But that’s far from a complete list. A person who is grieving might experience one feeling more than the others, or come back to the same feelings over and over. Some people who are grieving have a hard time describing what they feel. One of the most common feelings that people experience when they’re grieving is isolation—the feeling that no one understands what they’re going through, and that they have no one to talk to.
How does it look?
Grief looks different for everyone. The feelings that come with a big change or loss can make you distracted and forgetful. Grief can also make you think about death a lot, or make you worry that the people in your life are going to get sick and die. If you have a friend who is grieving, you might wonder if they’re going to act like themselves again. The truth is that grief changes people. That doesn’t mean that you’ll never have your friend back. It just means that they need to time to adjust to this huge hole in their life.
How long does it last?
Grief isn’t something that you can time. Some losses might take longer to grieve than others. Grief is something that changes. The feelings shift and evolve. You learn how to deal with the loss in different ways, but it might never go away.
The next section is about grieving a death.
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