Psychological Solutions For A Better Life

What Is Grief?

Tristeza3 It is safe to say that grief will be experiences by every person at some point in their lives. Although grief is integral and unavoidable as we move from birth to death, it is one experience that causes some people to struggle considerably. A common romantic notion is that ‘grief is the price we pay for love’. If we lose someone or something we have cared for deeply, we respond by grieving that loss.

When we lose a loved partner or child, we lose a self-object as it is called in self-psychology. A self-object is another person that we need for maintaining our SELF because it has become intertwined with our sense of identity. Such a loss is then experienced not only as the loss of the loved person, but also as a loss of SELF. Not only do people have to learn to live without the loved one, they also have to re-build their shaken and maybe even damaged sense of SELF.

As people grieve they may show deep emotional distress that not only remains in the emotional realm but also manifests physically. That is, however, not all. Depending on how significant a person’s loss has been significant loss may even impact detrimentally on one’s beliefs, values, and one’s faith.
It is questioned whether grieving a significant loss will ever be fully resolved. Instead, the literature seems to indicate that the impact of grief and loss may continue throughout a person’s life.

How destructive or disruptive this is for one’s life depends on learning  to connect with what has lost and being able to draw some meaning out of one’s suffering. Once grief is no longer all-consuming and the person learns to adapt to a life that has forever changed by the loss of the loved one, the loss becomes more and more integrated into his/her life signaling the dawn of a new life.

Mourning can go on for years and
It doesn't end after a year, that's a false fantasy.
It usually ends when people realize that they can live again,
that they can concentrate their energies on their lives as a whole,
and not on their hurt, and guilt and pain. 
(Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross)

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