Is grief and loss normal? How long does it last?

Grief and loss permeate all our lives. Loss in some form usually occurs before the grief process begins. Loss can range from losing a pet or a significant relationship to job loss. Death of a someone you care about is the main form of grief. Additionally, grief and loss can also occur from injuries (Traumatic Brain Injuries) for example with changes to a person’s daily functioning or engagement in activities. Grief and loss is a normal process in life. Though it is and can be very painful, all humans and, some animals, experience the emotions involved in this process.

Grief contains intersecting emotions. It can often feel that you take one to two steps forward in your healing process only to be overwhelmed by a memory or anniversary. This is natural, and although gut-wrenching, is a part of the process. This is where therapy and/or your support system can help someone in the grief and loss process. Structuring your day to stay busy is a form of avoidance which can help compartmentalize the healing process. This ‘chunking’ of the healing process can act as a way for us to process smaller aspects of past memories in a way that does not overwhelm our nervous system. 

To recap, all people will experience various forms of grief and loss in their lives. There is no one way to move through the grief and loss process. Everyone will do so at their own pace in their own time. Social supports and activities can help people stay connected to their lives and engage in valued based living. Additionally, working with a therapist in your local area who is trained in grief and loss and possibly (trauma and wellness) can act as professional supports along this path. 

If you or someone you care about are struggling with grief and loss, please do not hesitate to reach out. We offer a free 20-minute consultation to ensure we can appropriately support you. 

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