Grief and Loss "The pain of grief is just as much a part of life as the joy of love; it is, perhaps, the price we pay for love.” – Dr Colin Parkes

Grief is the emotional response to loss but there are also physical, cognitive, cultural, social and behavioural elements to it.  While grief is generally recognised when someone has died, it can also relate to such things as divorce, unemployment, retirement or ill health.

There is no quick fix for overcoming grief and loss, however, there is a range of proven strategies that can help you better cope with your feelings.

Your journey through grief is a very personal one.  Grief affects each person differently, so everyone grieves in their own personal way.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve and there is no set time period.  As a qualified grief counsellor, my role is to be there by your side as you work through your grief, in your own way and in your own time.

Types of Grief

There are quite a number of types of grief, and I have listed some below:

  • Normal grief:

    There is no such thing as normal grief as everyone grieves differently but this is the grief that society sees as “normal” ie being able to grieve, attend a funeral and continue to function in your daily activities.

  • Anticipatory grief:

    This is the grief you experience prior to the loss of someone you love, normally experienced after a loved one is given a terminal illness or diagnosis. It can relate to the loss you are expecting as well as the loss of what you thought your life was going to be with that person.

  • Delayed grief:

    This is the type of grief you go through when for some reason you feel you can’t grieve after the loss of someone or the grief experienced as a result of a job loss or divorce.

  • Complicated grief:

    Is also known as traumatic grief.  This can be triggered by a traumatic event eg a car crash, bushfire, flood.  It can also be triggered if you have a fractured relationship with someone (eg an abusive parent) but still go through the grieving process when they die but you can’t understand why.

  • Collective grief:

    This is experienced by a group, community, a country, or even the world eg the COVID-19 global pandemic is collective grief that everyone is experiencing.

  • Disenfranchised grief:

    This is when your grief is generally not recognized by society eg the loss of a pet or the loss of a same-sex partner if this relationship is not recognized by your family or society. It can also include the loss you experience when someone is diagnosed with dementia. The person is still physically there, but the person they were is no longer there.

Emotional Signs of Grief

  • Disbelief
  • Shock
  • Confusion
  • Denial
  • Loneliness
  • Sadness
  • Resentment
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Relief

Physical Symptoms of Grief

  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

If you need to talk to someone to help you deal with your grief, contact me now.

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