Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something with whom or which you have formed a bond or a relationship.
Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement often refers to the state of loss, and grief to the reaction to loss.
Losses can range from loss of one’s home, employment, status, a sense of safety, order, or possessions, to the loss of loved ones (including pets).
Our response to loss is varied and researchers have moved away from conventional views of grief (that is, that people move through an orderly and predictable series of responses to loss) to one that considers the wide variety of responses that are influenced by personality, family, culture, and spiritual and religious beliefs and practices.
While many adults who grieve are able to work through their loss independently, accessing additional support from licensed psychologists or psychiatrists may promote the process of healing.
Grief counseling, professional support groups or educational classes, and peer-led support groups are primary resources available to the bereaved. In the United States, local hospice agencies are often an important first contact for those seeking grief support.
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