Grief

What is it? 

Grief is a natural emotional response to the loss of someone or something important. This could be a loved one, a job, a place, a dream, or even good health. It often involves intense sadness, and sometimes feelings of shock, numbness, denial, and anger. The experience of grief is different for everyone and can be exhausting and emotionally draining. 

Symptoms 

Symptoms of grief can include: 

  • Emptiness in the stomach 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Sadness 
  • Crying 
  • Loss of interest in any activity 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Tightness or heaviness in the chest 
  • Insensitivity to noise 
  • Irritability 
  • Seeing or hearing things related to the loss 

Causes 

Grief is usually caused by the loss of someone or something important. This could be due to the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, diagnosis of a terminal illness, loss of good health due to an illness, accident or disability, miscarriage or infertility, having a child with a disability, a mental condition or a substance abuse problem, moving away or separation from family or friends, or having an ‘empty nest’ when children leave home. 

Interventions 

Interventions for grief include seeking help and comfort from others, acknowledging you are in the grieving process, focusing on solving immediate problems, expressing your feelings out loud or in a journal, learning to recognise emotional triggers, and grief counselling therapy techniques such as role-play, preparing for loss with positive thought processes, and grief and yoga.