Ask The Chaplain

Ask The Chaplain

Monday, November 12, 2007

What is Grief?


Grief is your emotional reaction to a significant loss. The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe feelings of grief. Whether you lose a beloved person, animal, place, or object, or a valued way of life (such as your job, marriage, or good health), some level of grief will naturally follow.

Anticipatory grief is grief that strikes in advance of an impending loss.¹ you may feel anticipatory grief for a loved one who is sick and dying. Similarly, both children and adults often feel the pain of losses brought on by an upcoming move or divorce. This anticipatory grief helps us prepare for such losses.

  1. GRIEF is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind. Many assume grief come only after a death, but grief occurs anytime there is loss; Loss of life, relationships, income, career, or hope in general.

  2. GRIEF is the pain and desperate longing you feel when you lose someone who has given meaning and purpose to your life. The loss of a parent, spouse, child, or close friend.

  3. GRIEF is that silent, night life terror and sadness that comes a hundred times a day when you start to speak to someone who is no longer there.

  4. GRIEF is the helpless wishing that things were different, when you know they are not and never will be the same again.

  5. GRIEF is a whole cluster of adjustments, apprehensions, and uncertainties that strike life making it difficult to reorganize and redirect your energies.

  6. GRIEF is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.

  7. GRIEF is the angry reaction of a man - so filled with shock, uncertainty, and confusion that he strikes out at the nearest person.

  8. GRIEF is the aching your body feels when you long to hold your baby who died after such a brief life - and you just can’t anymore.

  9. GRIEF is a normal and healthy sense of loss. The emotions involved are real, and they need to be recognized and expressed.

  10. GRIEF is unique and unpredictable and each person will experience it in his or her own way.

  11. GRIEF is a part of every life. Grief is no respecter of age or person.

  12. GRIEF is an attempt to bring life back into focus after the lenses have gotten turned out of focus.

  13. GRIEF is the entire range of naturally occurring human emotions that accompany loss.

  14. GRIEF is pain. Grief begins with the first raw awareness of the change but then becomes a terrific struggle: a violent disputing of the facts, a striving for life again, a revising of terms by which we know ourselves, a surrender to despair, finally a conscious acceptance of the change. This is painful and difficult but when accomplished, it brings rebirth and growth.

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