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Losses, Other Than Death, That Can Lead to a Grief Response in Family Members

woman dealing with grief

By: Blake Neuhauser MA

Grief Is an Often Misunderstood Emotion

When most people think about grief, often their first thought is associated with the death of someone. In reality, grief is a more extensive emotion than what it is seen on a surface-level. This extent can be identified by looking at the definition of grief and understanding the specific events that can cause feelings of grief.

Grief Can Be Defined Conflict of Emotions

It is how we process the ending of something that is important to us. It is the tangled ball of emotions that lets us know that what we have lost was important to us. This can apply to any loss in a person’s life, not just the death of a loved one.

Grief Can Accompany Any Change a Person Goes Through

These can be positive changes in a person’s life or negative, or distressing changes. An example of a distressing change is being laid off from a job. The event of a job loss can result in a loss of income, security, and identity. A positive change would be if a person gets married. Marriage is often seen as an occasion to be celebrated.

How Could Grief Possibly Enter Such a Celebrated Event?

Well, many changes take place after marriage. A spouse may need to change their daily schedule, lifestyle, or try to integrate new family members into their daily life. These transitions and changes can cause grief. There are many other events that can trigger feelings of grief including divorce, separation, imprisonment, injury, retirement, pregnancy, miscarriage, a child leaving home, changing residences, and so many others.

By understanding the definition of grief and the events that can accompany it, it is possible to better work with feelings of grief. Grief is how a person processes the loss of any important event. It is how a person learns to adapt to a new pattern of behavior. If you or a loved one feel that grief has become too difficult and overwhelming, or maybe you even notice yourself feeling guilty for feeling grief in the presence of a positive change, please contact Crosswinds where we offer both individual, marital, and family grief counseling.

 

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