Arguably, of the most gut-wrenching feelings we will ever experience in our lives is that of grief. It’s not just sadness, as those who haven’t dealt with losing someone or something close to them may think: it’s a complex set of emotions and feelings that can change over time. It’s so complex, in fact, that no two people will necessarily experience grief in the same way.

It is therefore difficult to explain the reality of living with grief, as my reality may be much different than yours. However, it can be beneficial to learn more about grief and the different ways it can affect us throughout our lives. It may help you better understand your own grief, or support someone else during their grieving process.

Here are some insights into the reality of living with grief.

Grief is Personal and Unique to the Individual

“Anything a person feels inside of their own personal grief is correct”.

The above is a quote from psychotherapist and author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine, and it’s an excellent way of summing up the individualized nature of grief. There is no right or wrong way to experience grief, as the journey can be as unique as your fingerprint. There are just so many different factors that can influence a person’s grief it would almost be strange if two people had the exact same experience.

For example, let’s say you lost a loved one. Your grief would likely be determined by some combination of the following factors:

  • Your relationship with the person
  • The particular situation surrounding their death
  • Your support system
  • Your physical and mental condition
  • Your personality and life experience

And there may be even more to it than that! As you see, grief is a highly individualized process, so there’s no reason to worry about whether you or someone you know is grieving normally or correctly. It’s all normal, and it’s all correct.

Grief is More Than Just Sadness

Sure, grief and sadness may often go hand-in-hand, but they are nowhere near the same thing. The grieving process can involve many different emotions and feelings, and they can change significantly over time. For example, the following is a list of some of the other feelings that tend to be associated with grief:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Loneliness
  • Confusion
  • Disbelief
  • Numbness
  • Frustration, etc.

Keep in mind that these are just a few examples – you may experience any number of emotions directly related to your grief. And, once again, they would all be completely normal. It’s important to recognize grief as the complex process that it is, and to not get down on yourself if you think you shouldn’t be feeling a certain way.

Grief Can Be a Long and Difficult Journey

Don’t let anyone tell you (or don’t you tell anyone else!) that you’ve been grieving for long enough, as it’s important to recognize that this can be a long and difficult process that takes some time. However, know this: you will feel better eventually.

You will not, of course, forget about the person or thing you lost, but you will be able to manage it better over time. You will be able to experience happiness and joy again along with the grief, and learn how to carry on with your life.

Looking for a program that may help you along with your grieving process? Contact Edie Gudaitis Wellness today to discuss your needs!