Understanding Grief

Grief is not what happens to you....
loss is what happens to you.

Any loss, be it physical, emotional, or material will precipitate grief.

LOSS is loosing something or someone of value.

Grief is the only appropriate response to a loss.

Grief with it's many ups and downs last far longer
than society in general recognizes.
Be patient with yourself.

Each person's grief is individual.
You, your friends and family will experience it and cope with it differently.

Crying is an acceptable and healthy expression of grief
and releases built up tension.
Cry freely as you feel the need.

Physical reactions to the loss of a friend might include loss of
appetite or over eating, as well as sleeplessness.
You may find that you have very little energy and cannot concentrate.  A balanced diet, rest and moderate exercise are especially important for you.

Friends and relatives may be uncomfortable around you.
They want to ease your pain but do not know how.
Take the initiative and help them learn how to be supportive for you.

Whenever possible, put off major decisions such as...
changing residence, changing jobs, etc., for at least a year.

Guilt, real or imagined is a normal part of grief.
It surfaces in thoughts and feelings of  "If Only".
In order to resolve this guilt, learn to express and share these feelings and learn to forgive yourself.

Anger is another common reaction to loss...
Anger, like guilt, needs expression and sharing in a healthy manner.

Loss often causes a person to challenge and examine
his or her faith or philosophy of life.
Don't be disturbed if you are questioning old beliefs.
Talk about it.
For many, faith offers help to accept the unacceptable.

It helps to become involved in a group of friends having similar experiences; sharing eases the loneliness and promotes the expression of your grief in an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding.


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