Grief is a normal and natural process that takes work to get through.
It is not easy to let go of close relationships that have existed in
our lives. Dealing with the emotions that occur in the grieving process
takes much time and energy, and is usually both physically and
emotionally demanding. It is normal for people to grieve in very
different ways. Some people grieve openly, while others hide their
feelings of distress. Some people grieve quickly, while others take a
long time to "finish." There is no "right way" to grieve. Each
individual comes up with a method of grieving that fits them and their
There are a number of conditions that can make it harder for a
person to successfully make it through the grief process. For example,
sudden losses are harder to deal with than ones that have been
anticipated. With anticipated losses, the knowledge that a loss will
occur allows people to prepare, both by feeling grief before the fact
of the loss and also by planning ways to minimize the negative impact
of the loss when it does occur.
The loss of a spouse, lover, child, parent, or best friend is usually
more deeply felt than the loss of more distant relations and friends.
This is because such central relationships have long and deeply felt
histories and an intensity of attachment that does not occur with more
distant relationships. Central relationships are more deeply and
significantly intertwined into the grieving person's sense of self, and
thus leave a bigger hole in the grieving person's sense of self when
they are lost.
The amount of support a grieving person can draw upon is critical to
how successfully he or she will cope with grief. The more that friends,
family and community are present and supportive, and the more that the
grieving person is able to accept offered support, the better the
outcome tends to be. Isolated people tend to have a harder time.
The "fairness" of the loss is also important. Losses that challenge a
grieving person's ability to believe that the world is predictable are
harder to manage. It is easier to accept the loss of an aged parent who
has lived a full life than it is to accept the loss of a child. Death
by disease tends to be easier to accept than death by a random,