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Grieving the death of a loved one or loss of job, security, or mobility can be difficult. Learning about grief and how to grieve are important steps to recovering from any loss.


What is Grief?

  

 Grief is the natural human suffering and pain after a loss. Losing a loved one, home, job, pet, or health to a disease are all life events that cause grief. Indeed, any sudden change — including a retirement or the experience of sending a child to college — can be a source of grief. Whenever there is change, there is loss.


What is the Grieving Process?

    Grieving a loss takes time. The grief process is a term used by counselors and health care professionals to describe the journey that an individual undertakes following a loss. During the grieving process, the objective is to find a place of peace and acceptance.


   A range of emotions are part of the grieving process:

• Anger

• Sadness

• Frustration

• Guilt

• and even depression may occur.

Emotions may change suddenly and violently as one grapples with the loss at hand.


    In On Death and Dying, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross described five stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The stages are fluid, meaning that one can bounce back and forward between stages on the journey to accepting a loss.


Signs of Avoiding Grief

    

    Many people try to avoid the pain of the grieving process either consciously or unconsciously. Some signs that suggest that one is avoiding the grieving process include:


• Irritable or easily angered

• Lethargic/workaholic

• Excessive hunger or lack of hunger

• Avoids anything that triggers feelings of loss

• Drug/alcohol abuse


  Though grief is painful, not grieving can also have painful consequences. Relationships, work, and even one's health can be affected by behaviors that are implemented in an attempt to avoid grief.

    Embracing the grieving process is necessary to heal from a loss in life. The first step to grieving is to acknowledge one's loss and the feelings associated with it.

   Many people are afraid of grieving and the tears, anger, and pain that the process may unleash. Finding a trusted support group, friend, or therapist will lead to invaluable support for an individual or family struggling with the grieving process.


Signs of Grief

Another step to grieving a loss is to be patient with the self. Common expressions of grief may include:


• Fatigue

• Retreating socially

• Nightmares or insomnia

• Sentimental behavior towards objects connected with the loss

• Crying

• Repeated memories connected with the grief

Grieve, Heal on Your Own Terms


   It's important for a grieving person to recognize that grieving cannot be rushed, nor can one grieve on a schedule. Granting permission to experience the symptoms of grief is essential to the healing process. Setting aside time for personal reflection, relaxation, and caring for the body, mind, and spirit will increase one's power to heal from grief.


    Thoughts such as "I should be over this by now" or "What's wrong with me?" add unneeded stress and pressure. Trust that the process takes time, and indeed, is never really over as long as one is alive and able to love and care for others.


    Grieving is a journey of coming to terms with a loss in life. Accepting that grief is normal and natural are important steps in the grieving process for all those who have loved and lost in life.


Sources:  Ross, Elizabeth Kubler. On Death and Dying. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1997.


What is Grief?
  
 Grief is the natural human suffering and pain after a loss. Losing a loved one, home, job, pet, or health to a disease are all life events that cause grief. Indeed, any sudden change — including a retirement or the experience of sending a child to college — can be a source of grief. Whenever there is change, there is loss.

What is the Grieving Process?

    Grieving a loss takes time. The grief process is a term used by counselors and health care professionals to describe the journey that an individual undertakes following a loss. During the grieving process, the objective is to find a place of peace and acceptance.

   A range of emotions are part of the grieving process:
• Anger
• Sadness
• Frustration
• Guilt
• and even depression may occur.
Emotions may change suddenly and violently as one grapples with the loss at hand.

    In On Death and Dying, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross described five stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The stages are fluid, meaning that one can bounce back and forward between stages on the journey to accepting a loss.

Signs of Avoiding Grief
    
    Many people try to avoid the pain of the grieving process either consciously or unconsciously. Some signs that suggest that one is avoiding the grieving process include:

• Irritable or easily angered
• Lethargic/workaholic
• Excessive hunger or lack of hunger
• Avoids anything that triggers feelings of loss
• Drug/alcohol abuse

  Though grief is painful, not grieving can also have painful consequences. Relationships, work, and even one's health can be affected by behaviors that are implemented in an attempt to avoid grief.
    Embracing the grieving process is necessary to heal from a loss in life. The first step to grieving is to acknowledge one's loss and the feelings associated with it.
   Many people are afraid of grieving and the tears, anger, and pain that the process may unleash. Finding a trusted support group, friend, or therapist will lead to invaluable support for an individual or family struggling with the grieving process.

Signs of Grief
Another step to grieving a loss is to be patient with the self. Common expressions of grief may include:

• Fatigue
• Retreating socially
• Nightmares or insomnia
• Sentimental behavior towards objects connected with the loss
• Crying
• Repeated memories connected with the grief

Grieve, Heal on Your Own Terms

   It's important for a grieving person to recognize that grieving cannot be rushed, nor can one grieve on a schedule. Granting permission to experience the symptoms of grief is essential to the healing process. Setting aside time for personal reflection, relaxation, and caring for the body, mind, and spirit will increase one's power to heal from grief.

    Thoughts such as "I should be over this by now" or "What's wrong with me?" add unneeded stress and pressure. Trust that the process takes time, and indeed, is never really over as long as one is alive and able to love and care for others.

    Grieving is a journey of coming to terms with a loss in life. Accepting that grief is normal and natural are important steps in the grieving process for all those who have loved and lost in life.

Sources:  Ross, Elizabeth Kubler. On Death and Dying. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1997.
How to Grieve a Loss
      - What is “Grief”, Embracing the Grieving process & more.
Melissa Roberts
Chaplain, Author,
Teacher,Speaker
The Everything Guide to Stress Management: Step-by-step advice for eliminating stress and living a happy, healthy life (Everything Series)
Melissa Roberts
Chaplain, Author,
Teacher,Speaker
Check out Melissa’s book:

  Please feel free to contact Melissa if you have prayer requests, need more information or need guidance in the area of grief that you can’t find help for. Read More prayers & articles from Melissa Roberts at Suite 101


Contact Melissa

Melissa M. Roberts is a freelance writer, spiritual director, and teacher. Melissa has a BA in History from Baker University in Baldwin City, KS, graduate coursework in Medieval History from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, a Masters in Theological Study from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va, and nine units Clinical Pastoral Education, interfaith ministry and relationship training, from the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education in Peachtree, Georgia.

A former hospital and hospice chaplain, Melissa now teaches meditation, world religions, history, and violin. She offers stress management workshops, facilitates spiritual retreats, and offers spiritual direction via phone, email, or in person within an hour of Parsons, Kansas U.S.A.


A former hospital and hospice chaplain, Melissa now teaches meditation, world religions, history, and violin. She offers stress management workshops, facilitates spiritual retreats, and offers spiritual direction via phone, email, or in person within an hour of Parsons, Kansas U.S.A.
Other Related Articles:

Note from Editor on Loss

How to Grieve a Loss

Prayers- Loss of a child

Prayers - Loss of a Baby

Prayers for an Absent Mother

Prayers for Grief &  Loss

Pain Words - Name it and claim healing over it.