Grief is the reaction to a loss, it does not only refer to a loss of a loved one but can also include a loss of relationships, opportunities, etc. Grief is not an event, it is rather a PROCESS and it will take time to work through. It can affect every aspect of a person's life, emotionally, socially, and physically. It may even prompt the person to begin searching for new meaning to life. The word "Normal" is a difficult one to use describing the emotions associated with grief. Some of these emotions may include: Shock & Numbness-Denial-Confusion-Anger & Resentment- Relief-Guilt- Loneliness-Withdrawals
While literature provides explanations of the different stages of grief, these stages serve only as a guideline. The grief process is unpredictable with no definite order of the events that must occur. Everyone experiences grief differently and has his/her own pace moving through the stages. There is no exact time limit on grief, a person must avoid the belief that one must "Get over it", rather, the person must find ways to "Cope with it", as some aspects of the loss may stay with the person forever. For some people it may take a year or two to move through the grief process and begin to adapt to life without his/her loved one.
These are some ways to help a person cope with a loss: