The Grieving Process is Different For Everyone

By: Gail Garner


In the same way that no two persons fingerprints are the same, no two people experience grief in the same way. The issue is an extremely complex and unique one, - and when it comes to grieving the loss of a loved one, the grief experienced is as complex and unique as the relationship you had with that person. It could be described as a deeply personal experience.
Despite the unique and personal nature of grief, there are certain common aspects. Greif is a process " rather than a fixed state, and as a result everyone that experiences it will elicit a series of both emotional and physical responses. This is totally normal, and all part of the healing process.
The emotional responses that someone will experience after a loss can be extremely confusing. The reason for this is that they can be conflicting responses. An example is that one of the most common first reactions is to refuse to believe that the event is real. Even when presented with the cold, hard facts, the human mind can unaccepting of what has happened. This sensation will gradually pass, and the loss will come unavoidable.
Another extremely common emotional response is numbness. This is the human minds protection mechanism " numbing the pain in order to soften the grief. In cases of protracted illness, it is not unusual for the surviving person feel guilty " a kind of why them and not me? type response. In this situation, a feeling of relief that the loved one is now out of pain, and has passed on, can result in a feeling of guilt. It is also a natural reaction to cast blame " with thoughts of anger directed either at the person who has gone, at yourself, or another source altogether.
These emotional responses can also quite commonly alter our physical reactions to grief. These physical reactions have been found to have striking similarities to the behavior of people who struggle with depression. Changes in sleep patterns are one example of this, with many people struggling to get to sleep at all, whilst others find that they want to sleep all of the time, and feel continuously drowsy when awake. Many people also find themselves struggling to concentrate on anything, and are easily distracted as they go about their daily routine. It is quite common to experience spontaneous emotional reactions " such as an outburst of crying, or a fit of rage.
All of these emotions can feel overwhelming, but they are totally normal, and all part of the healing process. The loss of a loved one is one of the toughest experiences we could ever face, and the grief does not just affect a single part of our lives, but completely takes over it for a period. The grieving process takes us through a series of emotional and physical responses, and then brings us out on the other side, so that we can continue our lives.

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Gail Garner shares her knowledge with grief. Be sure to read her articles on the different ways people grieve .

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