The Feelings Associated with Grief Are Normal

For many people, the thought of losing a loved one is inconceivable. We hear about death every day through some form of media; a car crash, a long fight with cancer, a heinous crime. While we understand that these things happen, we could never see them happening to ourselves, let alone the people we hold near and dear.

People have different ways of dealing with grief. Some of them internalize their feelings, while others prefer a more outward expression. In many cases, people turn to professionals to help them figure out how to deal with their emotions. Feelings of shock, anger and disbelief are typical, but some people feel absolutely nothing. This numbness can bring on thoughts of guilt, with the person convincing themselves that they are wrong for not caring. It is not uncommon to feel numb when faced with a tragedy.

Each person grieves differently, and it’s important to understand that the process is natural and that healing takes place over time. For some, it could take a few weeks, while others grieve for months or years. No one can tell you how to grieve, as there is no right or wrong way. Loved ones should comfort each other and express their feelings as much as possible during this period. Emotional pain is easier to cope with when there is a support system of family and friends to reach out to.

There are other circumstances besides death that may also bring on feelings of grief, like divorce and losing a job. Oftentimes, the feeling of loss in these situations can be just as, if not more intense than losing someone to death.

There are times when grief can lead to clinical depression. Family and friends should keep a close eye on each other to look for signs that the grief may be heading in another direction. Some of these signs include feelings of hopelessness, the inability to function properly at school, home or work, or thoughts of suicide. Also, people who are clinically depressed often withdraw from their family and friends. If this type of behavior is observed, immediate action should be taken to avoid yet another loss.

At some point in life, everyone will experience grief. It is essential to express your feelings during that period and surround yourself with people that will lend their support. Doing this greatly decreases the chance of grief leading to depression.

Renee Wood founded The Comfort Company in 2000. She is a social worker that has helped families deal with the loss or pending loss of a child, as well as aiding patients in the end-stage of renal failure. The gifts provided by The Comfort Company offer sympathy messages as well as hope for healing hearts.