|Dealing With Death: What Is Grief?
grief: noun 1: intense sorrow caused by loss of a loved one (especially by death) 2: something that causes great unhappiness
The common definition of "grief" sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? But really, grief is a little more complicated than that. When somebody close to us dies, we spend weeks, months, and even years dealing with feelings, thoughts, physical reactions, and behaviors. People call this the "grieving process."
Everybody is unique, so everybody grieves a little differently and for different amounts of time. But parts of the grieving process are common to most of us:
It's a simple, painful fact: losing someone is a sad thing. Sadness is a big part of grief. When we lose a loved one, we may feel like crying a lot of the time, and we may feel so overwhelmed with sadness that we become depressed.
Disbelief, shock, or numbness
Right after someone dies, it's normal for people to feel like they have no emotions at all, like they're numb or are "sleepwalking" through their days. The emotional pain caused by losing somebody can be overpowering, so people "shut down" their feelings without even knowing they're doing it.
In addition to these emotions, grief can also lead to: