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What is Grief?

Principles of Grief

  • Grief is a natural reaction to death and other losses. Grieving is normal and healthy, yet often resisted and rejected.
  • Each persons’s grieving experience is unique. Grieving is a different experience for each person.
  • There are no “right” and “wrong” ways to grieve. Coping with a death does not follow a simple pattern or set of rules nor is it a course to be evaluated or graded.
  • Every death is unique and is experienced differently. Expect the unexpected
  • The grieving process is influenced by many issues including:
    • Social support systems available for the teen (family, friends and/or community)
    • Circumstances of the death – how, where and when the person died
    • Whether or not the person unexpectedly found the body
    • The nature of the relationship with the person who died
    • The person’s level of involvement in the dying process
    • The emotional and developmental age of the person
    • The person’s previous experiences with death
  • Grief is ongoing. Grief never ends, but it does change in character and intensity. Many grievers have compared their grieving to the constantly shifting tides of the ocean; ranging from calm, low tides to raging high tides that change with the seasons and the years.

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