What is normal grief?

Grief therapists are often asked what is "normal" when processing grief. People are looking for guidance and reassurance during a time that feels anything but normal.
By illume Editorial Team
Last updated: Apr 10, 2023
3 Minute Read

But the truth is, there is no one right way to grieve. Each person’s experience is unique, and what’s important is that you permit yourself to feel whatever you feel.

What does grief feel like?

Grief is messy, chaotic, and unpredictable. It can make you feel like you’re going crazy. You might feel numb, guilty, angry, weak, hopeless, and lonely. And that’s okay. It’s normal to feel abnormal when you’re grieving.

Adjusting to Your “New Normal”

Allowing yourself to feel the pain of grief is essential for healing. Gradually adjusting to your new reality is a slow process, but it’s necessary. It’s okay to have moments where you put your loss to the back of your mind and focus on the task, but it’s also important to allow yourself to feel the pain when it comes. Grieving is a marathon, not a sprint. Rather, it requires patience, self-compassion, and time.

Avoiding Comparison

Grief doesn’t hit us in tidy phases. Try not to compare your experience or time frame with others. Grief is an incredibly unique process with individual momentum. Allow yourself to work through it at your own pace, finding ways to cope with fear and pain.

Prolonged and Complex Grief

Sometimes the circumstances around losing a loved one – for example, sudden death or suicide – can lead to prolonged and complex grief. While many of the experiences and tasks in working through this type of grief are similar, it can also be a sign that you need more help than you are currently receiving.

Tips About Normal Grief

Here are a few actionable steps to help you navigate your journey:

  1. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling. There’s no “right” way to grieve.
  2. Understand that grief is messy, chaotic, and unpredictable. It’s normal to feel abnormal when you’re grieving.
  3. Take the time you need to adjust to your new reality. Healing is a slow process, and there are no shortcuts.
  4. Consider seeking additional support, especially if you’re experiencing prolonged or complex grief. There’s no shame in asking for help; it can make all the difference in your healing journey.

Find Grief Support with Grief Works by Illume

Getting support when grieving is essential. It can be challenging, but you don’t have to worry!

The Grief Works app helps you overcome grief and connect with a community that cares for you. It also offers live monthly calls and the ability to chat with a therapist when needed.

Moreover, it has a built-in journal book for your daily diary and the Grief Works Curriculum to guide you in this wonderful healing journey.

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