Grief Basics

"If you're old enough to love, you're old enough to grieve."

- Dr. Alan Wolfelt

Grief Is...

  • A multifaceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died.

  • May include a wide range of emotions, physical sensations, thoughts, and/or behaviors.

  • A process that will change over the course of time and is not a limited event.

  • An experience that is both universal and unique to each individual, family, and culture.

  • Transitional in that it may bring about a crisis of meaning, not only challenging our view of the world, but potentially requiring us to reexamine our purpose in life.

  • Seen and unseen, heard and unheard, depending on how an individual mourns their loss.

  • An individualized, non-linear process of integrating major losses and life transitions into our sense of self and our reality.

We grieve many things over a lifetime, not just death.


Many acute stress and grief reactions are similar to symptoms of major depressive disorder and even post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD). Remember, many of these reactions are common and are a normal part of grief.

**If your grief begins to limit your ability to care for yourself or your dependents, it’s important to reach out to a professional for help.**

What is Complicated Grief?

For some people, feelings of grief do not lessen or diminish as time passes. Grief continues to dominate life and the future seems bleak and empty.

Symptoms and Warning Signs of Complicated Grief:

  • Intense sorrow, pain, and rumination over the loss of your loved one

  • Inability to focus on anything other than your loved one’s death

  • Numbness or detachment

  • Abuse of alcohol or other drugs

  • Thoughts of suicide and/or long-term depression

  • Failure to provide for basic needs


If you think you may be experiencing Complicated Grief, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional.