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What Is Grief?


Your personal grief experience. Realize your grief is unique


Your grief is unique. No one will grieve in exactly the same way. Your experience will be influenced by a variety of factors: the relationship you had with the person who died, the circumstances surrounding the death, your emotional support system and your cultural and religious background


As a result of these factors, you will grieve in your own special way. Don’t try to compare your experience with that of other people or to adopt assumptions about just how long your grief should last. Consider taking a “one-day-at-a-time” approach that allows you to grieve at your own pace.


Talk about your grief


Express your grief openly. By sharing your grief outside yourself, healing occurs. Ignoring your grief won’t make it go away: talking about it often makes you feel better. Allow yourself to speak from your heart, not just your head. Doing so doesn’t mean you are losing control, or going “crazy”. It is a normal part of your grief journey. Find caring friends and relatives who will listen without judging. Seek out those persons who will


“Walk with, not in front of” or “behind” you in your journey through grief. Avoid people


who are critical or who try to steal your grief from you. They may tell you, “keep your chin up” or “carry on” or “be happy”. While these comments may be well intended, you do not have to accept them. You have the right to express your grief: no one has the right to take it away.


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