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Grief / Nonfinite Grief

What is Grief?

Grief is a healthy and natural reaction to a significant loss in a person’s life.  Grief is both an intellectual and emotional process in which the individual is trying to establish a sense of self in both the physical and psychological sense.

The intellectual and emotional instability is brought about by being caught in between two worlds. The first being the world that the individual is accustomed to and comfortable with; the second world is new, foreign, and does not allow them to maintain the same routines, actions, plans, or goals that were a part of their first world.

Most people associate grief with the loss due to death, however people can grieve for a number of different reasons such as:

  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Birth defects
  • Brain Injury
  • Neurological disorders
  • Developmental disorders
  • Chronic Illness
  • Transitions due to job loss, moving, financial problems, divorce, or separation

Though grief is important and leads to emotional healing, it can be a prolonged and intensely painful experience, and can result in significant emotional distress. The grief reaction may last for months or years.

Grieving is generally easy to recognize, and symptoms of grief are both physical and emotional. Grieving people are often sad and may sigh, sob, cry out or yearn for what was lost. Shock, disbelief and denial are common, especially immediately following the discovery of the loss. People who are grieving may feel angry or guilty. They may tire easily or feel as though they are always tired. Disturbances in appetite and sleep often occur.

The most important aspect for grieving people is learning to cope with the loss. Individuals who are grieving need to speak with and explain their feelings to others. Most physical complications of grief can be eased by eating properly, exercising and getting plenty of rest.

Individual therapy, family, or play therapies are the most beneficial treatments that help individuals cope successfully with grief.

Other Useful Links regarding Grief

  • How long does grief last?
    • People grieve for different periods of time and in different stages. Read more about how long grief lasts.
  • Types of Grief
    • Read more about the various types of grief that include nonfinite, anticipatory, anniversary reactions, and complicated grief.
  • Signs and Symptoms of Grief
  • Tips for Individuals struggling with Grief
    • Tips for helping children, loved ones, and others struggling with grief.
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