Grief is a feeling of deep sadness caused by the loss of something or someone important to you. It is a natural reaction to a loss and can involve shock, anger, disbelief, guilt, and overwhelming sadness. We all experience grief multiple times in life, and there are many different types of grief.
While it is most often associated with death, there are surprisingly many other losses that also cause pain. These things may include the following responses:
- going through a divorce
- end a relationship
- lose a job, change jobs, or retire
- financial instability
- spontaneous abortion
- inability to conceive a baby
- lose a pet
- recognizing that you may not be able to fulfill your dreams
- diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness
- losing your sense of security
- lose a sale of a prized home
- graduating from college or leaving home for the first time
You are only human
With so many things that can cause pain, it is only expected that there will be many types of pain. Some types are more familiar, but most people do not know some types of grief. Sometimes these types are the most serious, but few people understand them because they are not well known.
Understanding the types of grief can help you understand what you are experiencing and feeling. Also, if someone you know is suffering, you can better understand their feelings and behaviors as well. Either way, this knowledge will be beneficial.
The symptoms of grief
Grief not only impacts you emotionally, it can also have a physical effect. It’s also important to note that everyone is affected by grief differently, so symptoms may not apply to everyone. Most people will only show some of the signs instead of having them all at once.
- shock or disbelief
- deep sadness
- feelings of emptiness or loneliness
- crying and feeling emotionally unstable
- guilt or regret
- anxiety and / or panic attacks
- helplessness and insecurity
- loss of motivation
- nausea and vomiting
- decreased immune system
- aching body
- insomnia or excessive sleep
- weight loss or weight gain
Types of duel
Before even experiencing a loss, you may begin to grieve if you know that loss is coming. This can happen when a loved one has a terminal illness or any other loss that you know is coming. It is also sometimes experienced before and during the divorce process.
Sometimes early grief can lead to guilt because you feel like you’re losing hope. You can also alternate between wanting to spend time with the person and wanting to keep your distance. While you want to feel their presence, you can also begin to separate to prepare for the loss.
Other times, an anticipatory grief is experienced when it is not known what will happen next. If you feel like your life is out of control, it may feel like something important may be taken away from you. Or you may know that something will happen, but the question of when and how is still unknown.
In addition to the guilt mentioned above, you are likely to experience anxiety and fear with this type of pain. Studies show that it causes depression., too, and it can be more intense than the pain that occurs after the loss.
2. Grief over losing the ability to care for yourself
Both physical ailments and financial difficulties can cause this type of pain. With physical ailments, you may feel like you’ve lost the ability to do things yourself. Whether due to illness or loss of cognitive abilities, the loss can be devastating.
The elderly often face this type of pain as well. When they can no longer care for themselves, they will likely mourn the loss. They may feel helpless and unworthy as they accept their new way of life.
Financial difficulties can also cause this type of pain, especially if you were previously financially independent. Leaning on others for support or seeking other help can cause great pain. You may feel like you can’t take care of yourself and your family, even if it is a small setback.
These things can cause pain because they cause a feeling that life is out of control. You may even feel like you are losing who you are. For others, it causes a feeling of despair, failure, and limitations.
However, whatever happens, the situation often leads to a drastic change in lifestyle. It may also require giving up important things like a family home, job, or hobby you loved. Sometimes, however, it is only the loss of independence that causes pain.
3. Grief over lost dreams or expectations
If you have dreamed and waited for a certain situation to happen and it doesn’t happen, it can cause pain. Since you’ve lived so long imagining the expected scenario, it really is a loss when you realize that it may never happen.
This often occurs in situations where a couple cannot conceive. Most people spend their lives dreaming of their future children and the life they envisioned with them. When they realize that this may not happen, it can lead to anger, a feeling of injustice, envy, and failure.
Young adults often experience this type of pain, too. When your newfound adult life isn’t what you expected, you may start crying. As you struggle to find your way in the world and adjust to reality, you are likely to experience deep sadness.
Another case could be when you don’t get your dream job. If you’ve spent your entire life working for a job but can’t get it, pain can ensue. This is true of any dreams or expectations you have had.
4. Grief at losing your identity
There are many reasons why you may feel like you’ve lost an identity, such as losing a role or an affiliation. If you lost your job, changed jobs, or retired, you may experience the loss of your professional title. Parents can experience a loss of identity when their children grow up and move house.
This situation could also happen when going through a divorce. You may have to change your name, but you will no longer have the title “husband” or “wife”. For some people, this is a huge change and it will adjust before it can be accepted.
With this type of duel, you will not only regret the lost part. You may also regret what is coming because you have to start over and create a new you. Also, if the loss was unexpected or had no voice, the pain will be even deeper.
Still, those who have a say in the change can still experience pain. Not only will they experience pain, but they will likely experience guilt as well. If this is the position you are in, remember that you have the right to cry as much as anyone else.
How to cope with pain
Although there are different types of grief, it is important to face them all. No matter what type you are experiencing, you must find a way through it in order to move on. If you don’t manage it, you will experience serious emotional and physical effects.
Since grief is different for everyone, it is only hoped that everyone can cope with it differently as well. The way you choose to deal with the situation is entirely up to you and will depend on many factors. The most important thing is that you must give yourself time because the process cannot be rushed.
Although everyone will cope differently, there are certain steps that everyone will need to take. The steps to cope with the pain include these actions:
- Recognizing and coping with your pain
- Accept the many unexpected emotions
- Finding a way to grieve that works for you
- Seek the support of your loved ones and close friends.
- Find ways to take care of yourself both emotionally and physically
- Watch for signs of depression to know when professional help is needed.
While it is most often associated with the death of a loved one, grief can be caused by any loss. From losing a job to losing your identity, many things can trigger grief. Because of this, there are also many types of grief.
Remember that pain is a natural part of life and it is completely normal to experience it. You should never feel bad about grief, and it is important to do so in a unique way that will help you. You are expected to be sad and to experience other intense emotions due to a loss, so give yourself a little grace.
However, you have to find a way to cope with the pain. Otherwise, you will experience serious physical and emotional problems that will only get worse the longer you avoid dealing with them. Knowing the type of pain you are experiencing will help you along the way.