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AZ Center for Loss & Grief » What is Grief ?

What is Grief ?

Grief is the internal part of loss, how we feel. The internal work of grief is a process, a journey. It does not end on a certain day or date. It is as individual as each of us. Grief is real because loss is real. Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost. The pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another human being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost.

Why Not Just Avoid Grief ?

We think we want to avoid the grief, but really it is the pain of the loss we want to avoid. Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain.

What is the Difference Between Grief and Mourning ?

Mourning is the external part of loss. It is the actions we take, the rituals and the customs.  Grief is the internal part of loss, how we feel. The internal work of grief is a process, a journey.

When Does Grief End ?

Grief is not just a series of events, or stages or timelines. Our Society places enormous pressure on us to get over loss, to get through the grief. But how long do you grieve for a husband of fifty years? A teenager killed in a car accident? A four-year-old child?  A year? Five years? Forever? The loss happens in time, in fact in a moment, but its aftermath lasts a lifetime.

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