|What is Grief?
Grief is a normal and natural response to loss. Grief is the emotional response people feel when someone or something they love is lost. Grief is most commonly associated with the loss of a loved one, but grief can also be a normal response to other losses or significant changes in life such as:
- Job loss
- Loss of health
- Loss of a home
- A loved one’s serious illness
- A relationship breakup
- Loss of financial stability
- Death of a pet
- Loss of a dream
- Loss of safety after a trauma
The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief response is likely to be, but even subtle losses can cause grief.
Everyone goes through loss and grief at some point in life, but each person experiences and deals with grief and loss differently. How a person grieves depends on many factors, including personality type, coping styles, culture, gender, life experiences, faith, relationship with the person lost, and the nature of the loss. As a result, the resources and support that each grieving person finds helpful are different. Loss is a human experience that occurs across all ages and cultures. All cultures have developed ways to cope with death. A person's culture may influence the rituals, ceremonies, traditions, and behaviors that are part of the grieving process. Helping families deal with loss includes showing respect for the family's cultural heritage and encouraging them to decide how to honor the death.
Grief is not a single event but is a process that occurs in response to a significant loss. It is important to remember that there is no “normal” time frame for grief because the depth and duration of grief is different for everyone. Some people begin to feel better in a matter of weeks to months, but for others the grief process may take years. However the grief experience proceeds, it is important to be patient and allow the process to occur naturally. Healing takes time, patience, courage, and support and should not be forced or hurried. If at any point you feel that your grief is concerning, you should contact a healthcare professional.
St. Cloud Hospital Spiritual Care Services
Phone: (320) 251-2700, ext. 54621