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Facts About Grief

Updated on June 8, 2015

The Grieving Process

Facts About Grief

Grief is a natural process that helps us recover from deep emotional wounds. Understanding it can be helpful when coping with loss.

Some define grief as a response to a painful emotion caused by the loss of someone or something having deep meaning for us. It can cause anguish, depression, and isolation. While stages of grief exist, the length, effect, and intensity can vary with different individuals.

This is a basic outline concerning the stages of grief:

  • Shock. Following a devastating loss, common feelings can include numbness and unreality.

  • Reality. Deep sorrow sets in, sometimes causing loneliness, depression and despair.

  • Reaction. Anger misdirected toward loved ones, friends and family. Other side effects maybe listlessness, apathy, and guilt over perceived failures.

  • Recovery. A return to normalcy and adjustment.

Some may need several years, while others may bounce back after only a short period. Holidays, and special occasions can trigger it. Unresolved grief can lead to even greater problems such as alcoholism, and drug abuse.

The Bible is full of examples showing how God comforts His people in times of sorrow and loss. Job never lost faith in God, in spite of cataclysmic devastation of property, family and discouraging friends.

Some well-intentioned people may blame God for taking their loved ones. If that's the case, it would be advisable not to express these negative feelings in front of children. They may get the idea God is to blame and become angry at Him.

Managing Grief

Grief can negatively affect health. Sleeplessness, exhaustion, lack of appetite, indigestion and even memory lapses can be caused by grief. Recognizing this will help us to minimize the damage.

Many have felt the bereavement of adjusting to life without those who have passed away. We must let sorrow run its course.

The path for full recovery requires ministering to body, soul, and spirit. If there are unresolved issues in your life such as anger or hostility, write them down in a Journal. This can bring them to the surface. A regular exercise program can counteract many of these emotions. Although grieving is an individual experience, there are emotions many share after suffering personal loss:

  • Sleeplessness.

  • Forgetfulness.

  • Noticeable change in appetite.

  • Chest pains, headaches and nausea.

  • Over zealousness to keep the mind off of their grief.

  • Excessive eating, drinking.

  • Nightmares or dreaming about their lost one.

  • Becoming withdrawn, lonely, apathetic, and sliding into their own private world.

  • Frequent sighing and crying.

We can't avoid it but we can lessen the destruction it causes. To truly heal you need others. Self-pity can only operate in isolation. There is a need to see others have experienced similar things and found them to be temporary. Even death is only a temporary separation.

Many things people grieve about will be forgotten in a year. Paul suffered a great deal of physical torment and emotional pain. Yet he was able to call them just a "light affliction" (2 Cor. 4:17). God isn't the source of grief.

Many assume nothing happens without God's approval. That's false. Using this reasoning everything is God's fault. Lots of things happen God has nothing to do with. It's not God's will for any to perish, but they do. Just believing God causes bad things to happen will bring grief to our door.

Losing a loved one can be devastating. It's advisable to seek the services of a professional grief counselor. Their job is to help people come to peace and acceptance.

It has been said grief feels like an emotional roller coaster. One day you feel up, the next day down. Most want the roller coaster to stop so they can just get off.

Death is inevitable, but losing a close friend or family member causes a range of emotions to hover over us. Despite this, grieving for a loved one helps us cope and heal. The intense, heart-breaking anguish indicates a deep connection has been severed. Without a doubt, grieving is painful. But it's also necessary. Enjoying life doesn’t mean a person is been forgotten. It simply means your grief has run its course.


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