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Losing someone or something we love is very painful. We may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the sadness will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve —there are healthy ways to cope with the pain.
Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering we feel when something or someone we love is taken away. We may associate grief with the death of a loved one – and this type of loss does often cause the most intense grief. But any loss can cause grief, including: * A relationship breakup * Loss of health * Losing a job * Loss of financial stability * A miscarriage | * Death of a pet * Loss of a cherished dream * A loved one’s serious illness * Loss of a friendship * Loss of safety after a trauma |
The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. For example, we might experience grief after moving away from home, graduating from college, changing jobs, selling our family home, or retiring from a career we loved.
Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. How we grieve depends on many factors, including personality and coping style, life experience, faith, and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried – and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever grief experience, it’s important to be patient and allow the process to naturally unfold. (Bowlby 1977)
In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief.” These stages of grief were based on
References: Bowlby,J.(1980) Attachment and loss ,New York:Basic Books Kubler-Ross,E.(1969) On death and dying. New York:Macmillan Neimeyer,R.(Ed).(2001) Meaning reconstruction and experience of loss. Washington D.C :American Psychological Association Parkes,C.M.(1972).Bereavement:Studies of grief in adult life.New York:International University Press. Sanders,C. (1989 ) Grief:the mourning after.New York Wiley Worden,W.J.(2009) Grief counselling and grief therapy.A handbook for the Mental Health Practitioner New York: Springer Publishing Company