What Does Grief Mean?
Grief is a powerful emotional response to loss or the anticipation of loss. It can come in response to the loss of someone important to you or something crucial to your life and sense of security. From the death of a loved one to the elimination of a job, grief is an evolving process for dealing with changes that profoundly impact your life. Read on as Titan Casket explores what grief means and some of the common ways of dealing with it.
What Does Grief Mean?
Grief is a profound emotion that follows loss. Often associated with death and the mourning for loved ones, grief can also come in reaction to the anticipation of loss following a terminal illness diagnosis. Divorce, job layoffs, or a friend moving away can also trigger deep feelings of disconnection, loss, and mourning. Grief can manifest itself in various ways, from feelings of emptiness and shock to anger to nausea. You may have trouble sleeping, experience lethargy, or face questions that challenge your belief system. You may find yourself in tears frequently. You may hardly cry. There are no rules for it. Grief is personal and unique to every individual who faces it.
What are the Signs of Grief?
The signs of grief vary widely from person to person. Some may be obvious, while other indications may be more subtle and harder to read. Many people report feeling shock and numbness that accompanies the disbelief that a loss has occurred. While you may know on an intellectual level that someone important to you is gone, you may still have an emotional expectation that this person could walk in the door at any moment or be on the other end of the phone. Other signs of grief often include a sense of overwhelming sadness, guilt, fear, and even anger. Physical indications of bereavement may occur. Insomnia, fatigue, and nausea, as well as changes in weight and overall health, are also possible.
What Triggers Grief After the Initial Bereavement?
Anniversaries, birthdays, family holidays, and other family events can often act as grief triggers, even long after the initial loss. The experience can still be intense, and you may want to talk to family and friends about how to recognize the emotions that may come with a given event. Doing something special to honor the departed on an important date or recognizing their absence at a family gathering may bring a smile while still acknowledging the sadness. Of course, smaller things may also trigger grief: a particular song, a hint of cologne or perfume, or a favorite film. By noting their association with a loved one, in time, you may find that they evoke more pleasant memories along with the pangs of loss.
How Long is the Grieving Process?
There is no set timetable for grief. You may find yourself experiencing setbacks even after a considerable amount of time has passed. That’s normal. Grief has no expiration date. Treat yourself with the loving care that you would someone else who was dealing with profound loss. You deserve the same compassion. While you may hear about the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), the theory doesn’t mean that you will move through them linearly, nor does it mean that you won’t encounter one of the five stages of grief more than once. Take the process as it comes, and do not be afraid to connect with professional grief counselors for assistance.
Where Can You Find Grief Support?
Finding support as you begin your journey is crucial to healing and moving forward. Share your feelings, memories, and fears with family members and friends. Just talking about your loss, whether it involves a person, relationship, or job, can provide some catharsis. Faith-based organizations may offer to counsel to members within their community. Many find comfort in taking part in religious rituals that focus on the acceptance of loss. Likewise, if you have a robust community network, you may want to reach out to talk to others who have experienced a similar sense of loss. Therapist-led support groups and individual counseling (both in-person and virtual) can be invaluable. Their expertise will allow you to share your experience in a safe environment as you try to work through the sometimes overwhelming emotions associated with grief.
Post-Funeral Receptions (as a Way of Communal Mourning)
What happens at post-funeral receptions, and should you attend? Read about post-funeral receptions as a way of communal mourning in this post from Titan Casket.
The information provided above is not meant to replace expert medical or mental health advice. If you or someone you love is having difficulty coping with loss, please reach out to a qualified mental health professional.
Do you have other questions about what grief and mourning mean or any other issues relating to end-of-life celebrations? Titan Casket is here to help you get the funeral you want at a fair price. Contact us in the chat window or here to get started.