GRIEF FACT SHEET
Grief hurts, but it can be useful. The progression of grieving often involves sadness, anger, loneliness, and other painful emotions. However, grieving can help us come to terms with our loss and move forward in life, while still cherishing memories of our loved ones.
Everyone grieves differently. While many people have opinions about how to grieve correctly, don’t forget, your grief is yours and yours alone. Some need to express their grief, while others prefer to process in silence. Some feel anger, while others feel sadness, numbness, or relief. Everyone has different reactions to loss and different needs during the journey of grieving. Trauma echoes unpredictably emerge at variable patterns and intervals yet CAN be managed with proper support and awareness.
The conditions surrounding loss have a major impact on grief. Deaths that are unexpected, traumatic, or stigmatized (e.g. suicide) can complicate the grieving process. Personal factors, such as a history of mental illness, or a strained relationship with the person who died or is dying, can also contribute to current impediments.
Grief does not have a set time frame. Grief can last for weeks, months, or years. Grief may come and go around holidays, anniversaries, and major life events, or it might reveal itself in the most inopportune times. The good news is, grief is likely to lessen in intensity over time.
Be mindful, grief may contribute to other problems. Grief increases the risk of developing other health problems, mental illness, and relationship difficulties. This is especially true if the death was traumatic, if you are feeling guilt related to the person or about their death, or if grief is prolonged.
It’s okay to seek help. Support from family and friends can prevent grief from growing out of control. Although grief will improve over time for most, this isn’t always the case. When grief is especially debilitating or long-lasting, support groups, therapy, and other resources may be beneficial.
Not everyone experiences major distress. About 1 in 3 people respond to a loss with resilience or relief. Feeling neutral does not mean that you don’t care, or that you love the person any less. Nor does it mean that your grief is unfinished, or that you have a problem.
Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting. You can continue to live your life, have new experiences, and form new relationships while continuing to love the person you lost. The goal of grieving isn’t to forget, but rather to figure out how you would like to remember while moving forward.
Please reach out if you need to talk.