Grief: A Natural Response to Loss

By: Kate Nypaver
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Grief is a difficult concept to truly understand, because it is unique to the person and the loss they’ve suffered. Comprehending loss is a good place to start. describes loss as “the state of being deprived of or of being without something that one has had” ( Loss can be of a loved one, a job, a relationship, a belonging, a capability, etc. Basically, you had something and now you don’t, and the circumstances of which the loss has occurred can vary.  

So then grief, according to the Mayo Clinic, is “the natural reaction to loss” ( But we know grief is so much more than that. Grief is the price we pay for loving someone. It is the storm of emotions we cannot avoid when someone leaves too soon. It is natural, and like most natural things, it is inevitable.  

Psychologically, grief can manifest through a broad array of emotions—fear, anxiety, sadness, despair, anger, irritation, longing, depression, confusion, numbness, detachment, and guilt are just a few. And it’s very normal to experience several of these emotions in a day, in an hour even. Sometimes they appear in different stages, and other times they may come and go in surges. Or, the feelings could last for days to even months without relief.

Physically, grief can affect digestion, concentration, sleep, appetite, energy, and immune strength (to name a few). Some might experience more physical side effects than others, or in different degrees of severity. These issues paired with the emotional hardships may put strain on relationships and friendships, and instigate withdrawal from society. It can be very difficult to find joy or pleasure in life when one is working through grief—and it really is hard work.

But remember that grief is natural. It is a natural response to loss, the way darkness ensues when the sun goes down. We can always rely on the fact that daylight will come again, though. Grief does not have to last forever, but it does need to be felt.

Leave a comment


Please wait

Previous Posts

Approaching Father's Day While You're Grieving

Father’s Day can be difficult to face when your dad is no longer living. Even if he passed years ago, a holiday to recognize your father can surface some residual grief. But there are ways to face ...

Discussing Your Final Wishes

It is never too early to discuss your final wishes. Maybe you’ve never thought about it before, but it doesn’t hurt to give it some consideration. Would you want to be cremated? Would you want your...

Why Should I Pre-Plan My Funeral?

Pre-planning funerals is growing more and more popular as baby boomers retire. It’s a good time to tie up loose ends, get some finances in order, and settle into relaxation. Setting future funeral ...

How to Make a Funeral Service Meaningful

 Memorial services are often held to facilitate closure, to honor the deceased, and to provide an appropriate place for people to grieve. Personalizing the service will create a deeper signifi...

It's Mother's Day...But I'm Still Grieving

The time surrounding Mother’s Day is often joyous; the weather is warming, the flowers are blooming, and people are gathering close to celebrate and honor the matriarchs of their families. But for ...

How Can I Help My Grieving Friend?

Your friend has suffered a loss and you probably have a lot of questions that are causing some anxiety. What am I supposed to say? What can I even do for them? Are things going to change drama...

I Want a Green Burial. What Are My Options?

Green burials exist to reduce our carbon footprint even after death. Ultimately, the goal is to refrain from using materials that will not break down in the earth, and reduce the amount of energy a...

Viewing and Visitation Etiquette

If you’re planning to attend a visitation or viewing, be prepared for the deceased to be present in the chapel of the funeral home. The casket might be opened or closed, or an urn may be present, b...

What Should I Wear to a Visitation? Or a Funeral? Or a Graveside Service?

Visitation: If you’re attending a visitation or calling hours, it’s best to wear something modest but not over-the-top; dress like you’re going to church on an average Sunday. For women, dress pan...