Grief is a complex and necessary process that can appear in many forms and for a variety of different reasons. Although grief is most commonly associated with death, it doesn’t have to be. People can experience grief and loss due a number of life’s circumstances, and the way each individual reacts to a similar situation can be quite varied.
Different Kinds of Loss
When you lose something important to you, whether that’s a family member, friend, pet or even a job or home, feelings of loss often result. Generally speaking, loss can come in two different forms: sudden or predictable.
A sudden loss could involve an accident, crime or suicide, and can be a particularly traumatic experience, as there is no time or way to prepare for it. A predictable loss, such as that following a terminal illness, can have a layered effect. While it can allow for more time to prepare, many people experience two tiers of grief in this situation. There may be grief related to the anticipation of loss, as well as the grief associated with the loss itself.
Grief as a Healing Mechanism
Those suffering from grief may experience feelings of helplessness, depression, irritability, numbness or fearfulness. These sentiments might also be paired with having difficulty concentrating or a lack of energy or motivation. It’s important to remember, though, that these feelings are normal reactions to loss and can aid in the healing process.
Whether you’re going through a deeply personal loss, such as that of a family member or close friend, or a less obvious trigger like leaving home, changing jobs or losing physical ability or financial stability, grief can present itself in many ways, but can also act as a natural healing mechanism.