What is Grief?
Grief is a normal reaction to a death. Grief has emotional, physical, cognitive, behavioral, and social impacts. It is important that children and teens are allowed the opportunity to grieve. There is no time limit on grief; it takes as long as it needs to.
What Impacts Grief?
Grief is impacted by a number of factors such as:
- Age and Emotional Development
- Family support system
- Circumstances surrounding the death (expected/unexpected,)
- Previous experience with loss or death
- Culture and Religious Beliefs
- The relationship with the deceased
Emotions Associated with Grief
There is a wide range of emotions experienced through grief. The intensity of emotions may vary over time and can be triggered by significant events such as anniversary dates. Emotions can range from angry, confused, guilty, sad and lonely to scared, disappointed, helpless, worried, shocked and frustrated.
The first year after a death can often bring mixed emotions as everything has to be done for the first time without that loved one present. Some people report that the second year is more difficult as their shock and numbness has subsided and the loss has become “real”. In either case it’s important to accept all of the emotions that come as part of a normal grieving process and to find healthy ways to work through these emotions.