Grief part 1

Sooner or later we are all affected by grief. We cannot avoid it, and why would we avoid something that is part of our lives? Life contains of a lot of joy, love and friendship but it also includes sorrow through various losses. Today is the first of several posts about grief and recovery on my blog. I want to dispel some of the myths and talk about it from a new angle. I have invited several guest bloggers who will talk very openly and candidly about their sorrow. Grief is often associated with death, but a divorce, prolonged illness, losing your job, a poor relation with your children/parents/ siblings, retirement, moving, losing a body part, death of a pet, wedding, graduation, financial changes, legal problems, empty nest, loss of trust can also produce grief.

Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind. Therefore, the feelings you are having are also normal and natural. At the same time it is our most neglected and suppressed feeling both by the grievers and those around them. Many times we are afraid of the strong emotions that arise at a loss, both to experience it ourselves but also to meet people who are grieving. We are so afraid that we rather avoid people than talk to them. Many people can tell stories about friends and colleagues, who quickly cross the street when they see them, stop phoning them or in some cases hide behind pillars in the grocery store. Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on the capacity for happiness. There are no stages of grief but you may experience lack of energy, bodily pains, disrupted sleep patterns, reduced concentration, mood swings, changed eating habits; we eat too little, or too much and a sense of numbness. This is a normal and a natural response to a loss, but the duration is unique to every individual. It is impossible to say how long it will last. Grief is not a problem to be solved intellectually, nor a medical condition. It is therefore important not to use sleeping pills and antidepressants as it might prolong your grief. Yes it hurts, and most of us are ill prepared to deal with a loss but it is not dangerous. We are all different, and that means that our grief is also individual and unique. No on can tell us how we should feel or how we should grieve. There are as many reactions to a loss as there are people. It is therefore not possible to describe how a normal emotional reaction to a loss looks. It is also important not to compare grief; no loss is worse than another, all our losses are unique. A broken heart can be caused for many different reasons and one of the biggest lies about a loss is that time heals all wounds. It is not time that heals all wounds, it is the actions you take and the result from them that gives you an emotional recovery. Not time itself.

Next week; a friend of my mine is going to blog about his son Anton. I have worked as a grief counsellor for many years, and I am trained at, which is an affiliate to Part of today’s text comes from their book, “The grief recovery handbook”. / / Marianne

© 2012 Marianne365days – Change Your Life One Day At The Time – All Rights Reserved


15 responses to “Grief part 1

  1. This post (and the others to come) are exactly what I need at this point in my life. I have to honestly admit I have long buried grief and sorrow I need to address. .

    • I am glad to hear that you want to adress your long buried grief and sorrow. I am not going to pretend that I know how you feel, but I am going to share stories of loss with you. And I am going to give tips on how to move on in life. //Marianne

  2. A friend from church AJ husband died recently and last Sunday I went and sat with her and spoke to her because i did not want to get to the point where things felt awkward and we stopped speaking altogether. When my niece died in a car accident 2 yrs ago i did not speak to anyone for 5 weeks unless i absolutely had to and then it was always brief and to the point.

    • I am glad to hear that you reached out to your friend AJ. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just a few words and a hug is more than enough many times. Sometimes we need to be alone when we mourn, and we should always respect the mourner’s behavior even if we think it’s odd or wrong. The person in mourning should always decide what works for them. I am sorry to hear about your niece. //Marianne

  3. I too worked as a grief counsellor and I learned that, in general, if you show no aversion to discussing death, then people will open up and they are generally waiting to…..they just need a quiet space from a receptive open heart to release their grief to .Lovely post Leanne

    • Leanne, how wonderful that you also have worked as a grief counsellor. Why did you stop? I agree with you, people want someone to listen to them without being judged or being told how they should behave.

      • Hi Marianne, I did it for a few years and needed a break and wanted to change directions. I always envisage I will go back to it, when I retire as it is wonderful work. regards Leanne

      • Yes, it’s a wonderful work. Sometimes I work about 20 % with grief counselling, sometimes it’s a bit more but most of the times it’s a bit less. I’ve groups, private clients and speak publicly about grief. It’s a great complement to my ordinary work, mental training, and business- and life coaching.

  4. i realized long ago that every swallowed tear has to eventually be released. my first encounter with suppressed grief was about ten years after my mother died, and i saw her friend/surgeon by chance at the tiny cemetery where both of our mothers were buried. the tears caught me by total surprise, and i could not stop crying. that was a wake-up call for me, and i have learned that burying grief backfires and can be quite destructive.

    • Burying your grief is not a good idea, it can cause a lot of problems both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, people often tell us we should surpress our grief. For different reasons we often believe them, which of course is madness. I am glad to hear that you don’t do it anymore.

  5. Pingback: Avoid the Path of Destruction in the Wake of Death | With Sympathy Gifts

  6. Pingback: Just some reflections on a Friday | One Lifetime

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