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Grief and Its Effects on People

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The fact that a lot of people have or will have to deal with grief at some point in their lives, there are indeed some degrees of losses or tragedy that can be so overwhelming, and can leave individual in a state of absolute shock to the state of having to affirm his or her sanity.

Daily or routine tasks that often took one little or nothing to complete all of a sudden becomes much of a herculian task. Individuals also become increasingly irritatable at this time as little statements from people around can trigger irrational reactions. Having to understand these emotions and the fact that they are perfectly normal and acceptable responses are often far and beyond the scope of any knowledge any griever could have ever experienced before.

When it comes to grieving, there is a wide array of emotions that come attached to it. A handful of them will be explained here. Keep in mind the types of emotions and experiences listed be are not all that an individual in a grieving process can feel at a given period. It is a limited to fit the scope of these exercise.

When we talk about grief, what comes to mind for most is the death. But the scope of grieve is not limited to this alone. It can stem from small to big changes within our physical, social, and emotional lives. ‘Small’ changes like change in environment, a close friend relocating to new town or city, losing a pet, a verbal abuse, even changes in weather and seasons can trigger an emotional response which ultimately can lead to grief. Most times this type of grieve is known as ‘demarginalised grief.’ The idea that a lot of people might not necessarily view this types of experiences as one that should trigger a grieving response, that should not mean a person can suffer grief or some form of emotional trauma from them.

Whether we like it or not, grief has the power to consume much of our lives and ability to function properly. People spend a large part of their lives trying to find happiness in things that they barely remember that our live experiences come in different shapes and sizes. They will be of course times when the goings are good, and things are rosy, but no one is really taught that things can go south within the blink, and much of the time, through no fault of the individual. The much knowledge a lot of people get on how to handle grief barely scratches the surface, and suggests almost little to solution on a deeper emotional level.

Grief is purely an emotional experience and not logical. Most times, family, friends and well wishers tend to offer logical excuses to why their loved ones should not feel too bad after a tragic experience. The issue really is, people who grief have been wrecked emotionally, and not physically. Merely dishing out plain logical responses to help people in grief come out it will have little to no effect.

Come to think of it, there are never no real defined approaches to how people feel grief. It has been known to take different dimensions. Some persons have even described it as an ‘out-of-body’ experience upon getting word on the loss of a loved one.

The well known 5 stages of grief was first drafted and made popular by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross who conducted a study to document how certain individuals handled their deterioriting health as result of a terminal illness. Though these 5 stage approach give a background understanding of how individuals go through grief, another study has proved its lack of substanciability, especially for people trying to recover from the experience.

The first signs a person going through grief shows is an increased lack of focus and concentration. They will often find a hard time recollecting events, keeping up tasks, or sometimes getting lost right in the centre of a conversation. This lack of focus comes from the surge of emotions that set in within the mind of an individual and this is perfectly normal with every person who has experienced loss at some point in their lives.

Many times, people find themselves getting upset when well wishers offer words of consolation like ‘God knows best,’ ‘I can relate,’ or ‘I know just how you feel.’ While even the most heart felt of condolences are well intentioned, the reality of it is that each person is entitled to how he or she feels and experiences grief and no one should be made to feel bad about or responsible for having such emotions. No one truly gets over a loss, they only choose to get used to it and move ahead regardless of the situation.

Another thing worthy of note is that there is not set time to factor in when recovering from a period of grief as each individual grieves differently. Time has little or nothing to do with the healing process. Infact where it differs for each individual is what each chooses to do with ‘time’ as regards wanting to recover from the grief and getting ahead with the rest of one’s life.

A person might be shocked to find out that things as simple as deja vu, seeing or hearing something that suddenly reminds one of deceased friend and relative can stir up a barrage of negative emotions long forgotten all over again.

A period of grief can leave an individual in a state of regret, wishing they had a second chance to do things differently. This emotion turmoil signals a dire need for ‘closure’ and reconciliation. This is where many grievers need the most help.

As the reality of a loss and prolonged absense of a loved one become more obvious, so the pain that was once felt begins to reduce in magnitude. This time though, should instead be filled with fonf thoughts of the person and keeping the good memories alive.

As people who offer succor and emotional support for people going through grief, the best approach is to always offer a listening ear when they are sharing their experience. Try as much as possible not to give any unsolicited advice, or being critical in analysis of the situation. Always keep in mind that however good willed or intentioned one might be towards helping a griever, no one can really fix any one who is not willing and ready to do that one his or her own term. Thus by merely listening through, one offers a lot more reprieve than any kind of advice there is.

This is not one single compilation of all that affects an person in grief but the common types are sadness, denial, anger, passiveness, self blame and loathing. Sadness is the most common of all types of emotions that come with grief. When a person is sad, there is general gloominess in expression and body language. Such a person might withdraw from social situations and remain by themselves over a long period of time. Anger in this situation is categorized as an uncontrollable burst of negative emotions, linked to apathy and hate feelings that might result from resentment towards a person or situation that has caused hurt to the individual. Denial, self blame and loathing are deeper forms of grief that displays a loss of touch with or choosing not to deal with the reality of a traumatic experience, most times because of its severity. These ranges of emotions are often times weighed in contrast with the type and degree of the loss expressed. 

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Grief And Its Effects On People. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from
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