Grief is experienced by each individual at any stage of life. It can be the loss of an animal, a close friend, or any family member. The stronger the bond the greater the amount of grief. After the pandemic, people are talking more openly because during the pandemic fear and insecurity of losing a loved one was on the pick. People were mentally and physically suffering a lot and most of the people did not know how to accept or react to sudden changes in life situations.
Grief is a very subjective experience. Everyone has their own way of expressing their grief. Some people prefer to talk about it and some prefer to be quiet and socially isolate themselves. Some can find it hard to confine to anyone who can understand this deeper emotion as they have constant feelings nobody can understand what they are experiencing. Each way is correct as each person has unique personality dynamics. Let’s talk about what exactly grief is.
What is Grief?
Grief is a response to the loss of someone or something that is important to a person. Grief is about deep sadness to such loss.
It is a natural response a person can experience when we lose someone or something e.g. breakup, loss of job, illness, divorce, or death. Everyone can express this emotion in different ways. Most of the people feel it’s hard to express this emotion.
Some facts about Grief:
- Grief is a painful but normal experience.
- Grief seems permanent.
- Everyone grieves differently.
- Talking about that will not let them overcome their emotion.
- Anger and denial are not bad in the initial stage, it gives time to gradually process and absorb the bad news.
- Taking time leads to better coping skills.
- The way out of grief is through it.
- Grief is unpredictable.
- Grief is not the same thing as depression
- Grief comes in stages and it’s not a straight line.
- Grief can cause physical symptoms.
- Deference between grief and trauma.
Thinks to keep in mind when talking to a person who is grieving
- People see the world as they are. What they think about their life challenge will determine how they will listen, understand, and tackle the situation. While listening to a grief-driven person people must not impose their own idea of life challenges.
- In a state of grief, people do not want advice. What they need is a person who can listen to them. They too are well aware of what is right or wrong, but sometimes it’s just okay to feel the emotion and be honest with feelings. So please, don’t need to give suggestions.
- Whatever situation they are experiencing they can express it to another person, family member or friend they can trust. If the listener is listening to them patiently they feel lighter and better.
- A person’s perception of loss is important for them and the people around them as it will direct their behavior. When people are going to meet such people who are grieving they must respect another person’s way of grieving
- Before talking to anyone on such a topic first check how they are feeling, whether are they in a state to talk on such a topic, will they be able to control themselves when exposed to such intense emotional expression.
- Let them believe that showing certain negative emotions is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of a healthy personality.
- No question is obvious. Collect full background information before going to meet people who are grieving.
- Keep their cultural belief in mind and let them openly talk about it and respect their opinion because for some people talking about this is important.
- Feeling sad and expressing emotions often comes when it is least expected.
- Empathies with the grief-driven person. Accompany the person in his journey so that they are not alone in the time of emotional breakdown.
Difference between trauma and Grief:
Grief is a painful and complex set of emotions that a person can experience. After experiencing loss person can accept the new reality of life and function normally as before the loss. But in trauma person experiences difficulty in leading day-to-day life as flashbacks and unprocessed emotions disturb his/her present state of mind. Trauma is a distressing and disturbing event in life that is not only associated with the loss of a loved one. But Sometimes is possible that loss can become trauma. The reasons can be:
- Loss was unexpected
- It was because of any violent crime
- Death was because by any Natural disaster
- Because it was out of the expected natural order (child or young person).
Individual differences in experiencing Grief:
Insecurity, anxiety, and helplessness are short-term negative emotions that arise when people try to control the things that are not in their control. Negative possibilities can initiate pain and worry when people focus more on it. People who have a highly optimistic perception of life tend to cope with negative thoughts better than people who have a poor level of optimism. Hardiness and resilience also play an important role in handling grief.
Also Read: In the times of Death, Loss and Grief
Death is not the opposite of life, it’s a part of life. But the death of the young and healthier ones is really hard to accept. Grieve is the last gift we can give to the person, if a person experiences this full-heartedly it becomes easier for the person to bounce back in life. There is no term for moving on. We all learn to live with the loss. Nobody can be replaceable regardless of age factor. Grieving makes a person human. It’s okay to experience this emotion. Death can take the person away from us, but memories will be alive forever.
Life challenges are not to threaten but to train our minds and embrace life with whatever we have before it’s too late. Happiness is beneficial for the body, but grief develops the power of the mind.
Attitude can make a difference. If a grief-driven person receives a constant support system he can accept and cope with life situations in a better way.