Grief is the normal process of natural emotions and feelings which are uniquely experienced after any loss of any relationship. Please note carefully the first characteristic listed: it is normal. It’s built into us. God invented it. God experienced it. Everybody experiences it.
The word “grief” comes from the Latin verb meaning “to burden.” That’s exactly what grief feels like, doesn’t it? A heavy load that you wish you could set down – but you can’t.
Grief is always triggered by a loss of some sort – losing someone or something we had an attachment to. Grief has different levels and intensities. We grieve a little when our favorite shirt is ruined and we have to throw it away. We grieve a little more when our favorite team has its hopes dashed for championship glory. More profound grief comes when a beloved pet dies, when a cherished relationship ends, when dreams we’ve held for our futures evaporate, or when someone we love passes on.
But, as grief and trauma counselor Dr. H. Norman Wright tells us “Loss is not the enemy. Not facing its existence is.” Loss is the fuse that triggers the bomb. The loss has irretrievably passed – now comes the process of dealing with the crater that’s left.
Grief is neither a problem to be solved nor a problem to be overcome. It is a sacred expression of love…a sacred sorrow. – Dr. Gerald May, M.D