Grief and Loss in Adults

Romans 8:38-39, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Life is filled with changes and these changes often involve a loss.  Grief is a natural part of dealing with and healing form the loss.  A period of grief may stem from a variety of situations or transitions:

  • Moving to a new place
  • Death of a loved one
  • Divorce or marital separation
  • Loss of a job
  • Children moving out of the house
  • Injury

The grieving process commonly consists of different stages.  People usually go through all these stages but may do so in various ways.  The grieving process looks differently for everyone.

  • Shock and Denial:  Unable to feel much of anything, feeling numb, weak, or overwhelmed.
  • Anger:  Blaming others for the loss or change; feeling irritable; thinking it's unfair.
  • Guilt:  Blaming self for something you did or did not do prior to the loss.
  • Bargaining:  Trying to make a deal with God to change the situation.
  • Depression:  Deep sadness, disturbed sleep and eating patterns, crying, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, loss of energy.
  • Acceptance:  A sense of peace that comes after working through the previous stages and a sense of hope for the future.

The grieving process is a vital part of dealing with loss.  For many losses, such as losing a loved one through death or distance, the first year may entail many difficult times.  Anything that can serve as a reminder of the loss, such as anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, etc., will likely trigger some level of grief.

If you know someone dealing with grief and loss, don't be afraid to ask them about the situation.  Both children and adults benefit from being able to talk about their losses to people who are safe and receptive.

Seek help when normal grief has developed into depression (for women), depression (for men), anxiety, suicidal thoughts, health problems, or an avoidance of most other situations/people that could serve as sources of help.

 
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