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Understanding Grief

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Understanding Grief

Grief is not a series of stages or a neatly defined process. It is an experience that is unique to you and your relationship with the person who died. The unpredictability and uniqueness of grief can be scary to some, and Western culture often does not know what to do with grief because it is not a prescribed or linear route. There is no clear direction for where it can or should go. However, your grief is important because it is yours. Grief is not one feeling but a compilation of many—sometimes conflicting—feelings. It is also a journey with many thoughts, physical responses, and spiritual questions. Because grief is such a complex experience, it is important to pay good attention to it and dutifully care for it. When we neglect our grief, it is not uncommon to make unhealthy decision or complicate our lives and relationships in destructive ways.

Here are some things to consider when grieving:

  1. Self-care - Take care of your mental and physical needs
  2. Maintain your relationship - Take time to remember, share stories, and honor your person
  3. Create healthy coping strategies – Identify healthy outlets for expressing your grief
  4. Get support – Identify people who will help you explore feelings, thoughts, and questions
  5. Be patient with yourself - Grief is hard work so be gentle

Additional Resources

TEDx Talks - Grief is Good

TEDx Talks - Against Grieving in Silence