Anticipatory Grief

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Grief and its Effects
Cipriana J Arias
Liberty University
Abstract
Grief and its effects is considered in this paper with the purpose of better understanding how it affects a person. Grief is a natural reaction to loss and change which affects all aspects of a person’s life: the physical, emotional, psychological, behavioral, and spiritual. Grief is not expected but will be experienced in a variety of ways such as experienced, sudden, gradual or anticipated. While most people will experience loss at one time in their lives, not everyone responds in the same way or goes through the same process to recover and heal.

Grief and its Effects
Life does not come with a manual on how to cope with grief. Is it possible to escape grief? Unfortunately, grief is one of those inevitable experiences that the majority of people will not escape. Knowledge of the inevitability does not make it easier to accept. Grief is a universal experience and it as unique as each individual that has ever lived. Grief does not discriminate on age, race, or ethnicity. Coping with life becomes more challenging when grief strikes. Although no one wants to experience grief, when it arrives there is hope in healing.

There are various things that can cause grief. Some of the reasons for grief are loss of a loved one, a new life direction due to a move, a divorce, a career change or even the loss of a dream (Grief, 2011). Coping and healing from grief can be one of the most difficult things a person will deal with in their life and there are resources to aid those who experience it’s effects. First of all, there is hope in healing when grief is expressed . Helpguide.org put it this way, “Grief that is expressed and experienced has the potential for healing which can eventually strengthen and enrich life (“Grief,” n.d., para. 1).

A holistic look on how grief can affect a persons’s life can give the best picture when describing the process of grief. In her paper, titled On grief and loss, Pomeroy (2011) defines grief as, “ a multidimensional experience that results from a significant loss of person or object (Pomeroy, 2011).” She noted that grief “ can involve the emotional, cognitive, physical, social, behavioral, and spiritual components of a person's life (Pomeroy, 2011).” The way we grieve will be as unique as we are and influenced by our culture gender and circumstances of our loss each of us grieves in our own way, (Grief, 2011). The Physical effects of Grief

Some people see grief strictly as an emotional process, however; it often involves physical problems of, “ nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia (Smith, M., & Segal, J., 2012).” A person who is experiencing grief can have physical problems which range from troublesome to serious. According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide website (Dealing with grief and bereavement, n.d), Grief can cause loss of appetite, insomnia, chest pain, headache, fatigue and cause muscle tension (Dealing with grief and bereavement, n.d, para. 3). A tremendous amount of energy may be used in the grieving process which can lead to fatigue which is common but not serious, unless it becomes chronic. Fatigue is usually self-limiting and will improve over time (Sandra, 2009). Others physical issues that can arise due to grief include, anxiety, panic, and fear (Sandra, 2009).

Another physical risk to the grieving person is that of experiencing a heart attack because there is a greater risk for this occur during the first week of going through a loss (“Grief increases heart attack risk,” 2012). Grief can also cause physiological stress which can increase the chances of developing a blot clot and raise blood pressure (“Grief increases heart attack risk,” 2012). One of the best ways to avoid many of these physical problems is to take good care of your self by taking time to exercise,...
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