Sadly, much of the information available on the topic of the grief process is incorrect and not helpful for people devastated by significant emotional loss.
For more than 35 years we, at The Grief Recovery Institute®, have been observing
and assisting hundreds of thousands of grievers worldwide. As the result we are
constantly publishing correct information about grief. Our solution for people who
are dealing with grief is embodied in The Grief Recovery Method®, which over the
years has become the gold standard for recovery from grief.
What is the grief process?
“Grief is the conflicting feelings we experience following the end of, or the change in any familiar pattern of behavior.”
A simple example would be when my mother died. She had been ill for over six
years. One morning I received the call that she had passed away peacefully in her
sleep. Immediately two thoughts jumped into my mind. One was, “Thank God.”
Which is a positive feeling. Moments later the second thought was, “I’m going to
miss her sweet smile.” Notice that both feelings are normal and natural and as such
are part of grief.
The same example could also apply to all kinds of loss. Let’s look at loss of trust. A
friend betrays you. A first feeling might be one of sadness or even anger. While the
second feeling might be one of relief that you found out about the loss now instead
Although grief is the normal and natural response to loss of any kind, it is shrouded
in mystery and misunderstanding. There is more confusion surrounding grief than
any other human experience – and this confusion grows each year.
Using Intellect doesn’t help
Educated people write articles; the psychotherapeutic community publishes
articles; the entertainment community through television and movies tries to
address the topic of grief. What they all have in common is that they try to address
grief through intellect. And grief is an emotional event, not an intellectual one.
Recently a small war has been raging over the upcoming publication of the DSM-V
(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). It has even gone so far as
to try to label normal grief as what they call an MDE (Major Depressive Episode).
Grief is an emotional experience and no matter how hard society tries to act as if sad feelings don’t exist – they do. Trying to use intellect to heal your heart will not work. Only the correct set of actions that lead to what is unresolved emotionally in a relationship will help.