Updated: Sep 5
Is it really though?
What is Grief? The deep, down meaning of grief?
A dictionary would have you believe grief is simple- ‘An intense sorrow, especially caused by someone's death” What that definition doesn’t allow for are the variables created by the human condition.
To understand its complexities, we must first understand where Grief sits on the emotional scale. There is a basic concept that at the high end, we have happiness, joy, contentment. Through the middle, overwhelm, doubt, worry. The further down the chain we go, the heavier and slower the emotions become. Anger, hatred, rage.
From the ideas of Abraham Hicks, grief is right at the bottom alongside fear, desperation and despair. On some versions of the scale, grief doesn’t even get a mention, as if it is something isolated, only to be experienced at random and on a rare occasion.
In grief lies the realisation that what is gone was valued.
Grief is the price we pay for love - Queen Elizabeth II
Can you grieve for something you didn’t care about? My experience says no. It’s only when there has been a love, an attachment, a hope, dream or desirable experience does grief appear in its absence. This opens the concept of grief far wider than to that of the death of a person and creates an immeasurable number of ways to feel and process the emotion.
Grief is discussed on a “scale” in almost every psychological concept. Implying that there is a straight line of experience from A to B. You traverse the scale and you’re done. What we know from experience is that this is rarely the case. The natural course of grief is one of ebb and flow. It can resurface unexpectedly.
It is non-linear, non-conforming, nonsensical even. It is anything but predictable.
The Journey of Grief is unique to each person. It is shaped by history and relationships, as well as the overall health of one's coping mechanisms.
In the 12 Journeys, Grief is the third experience. It comes at a time when we have woken up, seen things as they are and allowed ourselves to become aware of them. This Journey teaches us to mourn what no longer is so we can begin to create new ways of being. It teaches us to feel everything without judgement, shame or guilt. It teaches us kindness, self-compassion and love. We could all use a little more of that.
Grief doesn’t have to be endless, but it does have to be felt and experienced to pass.
Grief. It really is what it is.
Author, The Giants and the Smalls
This article was created in collaboration with ChatGPT and AI.
Word of the Month: Grief
Grief is the emotional pain experienced after a loss, often involving feelings of sorrow, sadness, and longing. Grieving is the process of coping with that loss and navigating through the emotional turmoil it brings.
Grief (pronounced: /ɡriːf/) is derived from the Old French word "grever," which means "to burden," and ultimately from the Latin word "gravare," meaning "to weigh down." In a formal sense, grief is defined as the intense emotional suffering caused by the loss of a loved one, an object, or an opportunity, while grieving is the act or process of experiencing and expressing such emotional suffering. The experience of grief can encompass a range of emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, and despair, and it often follows a series of stages that may include denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Grieving serves as a natural mechanism for coming to terms with the loss and finding a way to integrate it into one's life.