Chapter 1: An introduction to grief
Everyone grieves in their own way
There are some days I wake up and find myself struggling to even believe he died. I pick up the phone to call him and then I remember. When that happens, the sadness starts all over again.
Right after she died, I remember being at a red light and thinking, “How is it that the streetlights are working, and the restaurants are open? Everything just needs to stop for a while.”
Not everyone expresses their grief in the same way. Even those experiencing the same loss may grieve differently. They might be overcome by sorrow or anger; talk openly or close down; get “busy”; or avoid people altogether. You may feel alone in your grief if others appear to have different responses to the loss.
What affects your grief
Many factors may impact your grief. Click on the arrows below for some examples.
Your relationship with the person who died
How the person died
Your values and beliefs
How you usually cope with distress, and other losses you’ve experienced
What else is happening in your life, such as a new job; moving; separation or divorce; your physical and mental well-being; or financial struggles
It’s not just one loss
You may experience a variety of losses with one death. These are referred to as “secondary” losses. These losses are connected to your relationship and the role the person had in your life, and the one you played in theirs. Losses may also be related to hopes, dreams, and expectations about the future.