Grief is the emotional response to any type of loss. Perhaps of a loved one due to death or divorce, but also the loss of a job, a pet, financial stability, or safety after trauma. Feelings of grief can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know how to manage and overcome these emotions. It is important to have patience with yourself and others during this process as it is a healthy part of healing. If you are having trouble coping on your own, or know of someone who could use extra support, a therapist can assist.
There is no orderly process of passing through stages of anger, denial and acceptance. Everyone experiences loss differently based on their personality, culture, and beliefs, among many other factors.
Common symptoms of grief include:
- Shock and disbelief: feeling numb about the event, having trouble believing it happened, denying it, or expecting to suddenly see the person you lost.
- Sadness: crying, or having feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or loneliness.
- Guilt: regret over things unsaid or undone, feeling responsible for the death or the event, or shame from feeling relieved by a person’s passing.
- Anger: blaming someone for injustice.
- Fear: feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and insecurity, or having panic attacks.
- Physical symptoms: fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.
Grief can be tied to many life events besides death of a loved one. Divorce, loss of career and even loss of pets can hit a person hard. It is important to complete the grief process so that you don't stay stuck, unable to move forward. Grieving with love instead of pain should be the goal for grief resolution.
Grief After Abortion:
Many women suffer in silence from a past abortion decision. Many are even invalidated by professionals because this is a very misunderstood issue in our culture. Grief after abortion is very normal and happens often, even though most women and even some men never speak about the pain they are feeling. Dr. Trudy Johnson is an expert in the field of grief after abortion. Read more here.