We grieve when we lose something we value – the greater the value of the thing we have lost the more intense our grief. Traumatic reactions are overwhelming and occur when the event is interpreted as creating a world that is now, and in the future, more dangerous and poses a sense of serious threat.

Most people think of the grieving process as something experienced only after the death of a loved one; but we grieve for many reasons—be it the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or the loss of good health. In fact, even events of a wider scale, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks, can cause people to grieve at the loss of their sense of safety and security. Anytime something significant is taken away from us, we grieve; and that grieving process can trigger a host of unfamiliar and confusing emotions and behaviours [1].

The experience for many grieving people has been described as “re-learning the world‟. Many people also discover a deepening of their spiritual beliefs and can identify how they have grown as a result of their grief experience.

We do not “move on” from grief. An emotional reaction to a trigger may throw the person into grief; acknowledging the grief and then using a range of old and new coping strategies, moves the person into attending to life and everyday commitments and tasks. It is important not to try to “speed up‟ the grieving process. Coming to terms with a significant loss can take months and sometimes years. It cannot be done in days or weeks. Most people simply need the loving, supportive presence of other people, permission to talk about their loss and encouragement to use their own coping strategies to learn to live with their grief.

Others can only understand the intensity of the loss when they
understand the meaning another ascribes to the loss or change.
Julianne Whyte

Amaranth Foundation therapists seek to join with their clients in seeking meaning in the midst of grief, a revision of a life story punctuated by loss, and strategies to help identify and cope with a traumatic event. It is important to seek professional support. An an understanding of the range of therapies pertinent to individual stories is essential to help people learn to live with grief, loss and trauma.

If you feel you, or someone you know, might need professional help, please don’t hesitate to contact Amaranth Foundation and arrange support with our qualified Mental Health therapists.

[1] http://www.sharecare.com/health/stress-reduction/article/coping-with-grief