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Different Kinds of Grief

Have you ever felt like you were grieving something but couldn’t justify it because you didn’t experience death? Grief doesn’t always come from death. Other situations and events that occur in your life can cause grief. Did you know there are different kinds of grief? Whatever you experience, your grieving emotions are valid to you. Your pain is yours, no matter if people understand.


Grief is different for everyone

While we may be able to understand one another to some extent, our grief varies. We have various opinions on how to honor someone in their death and how to remember them. We have different religions and spiritual beliefs. There are also many traditions we hold in our families or cultures. This can take part in how we grieve. It can make the weight of grief feel lighter or heavier. Everything we undergo is personal to ourselves, what we know, and how we express ourselves when grieving. Emotions like depression, sadness, loneliness, regret, guilt, anger, irritation, frustration, etc. are all emotions we have felt and may feel in grief. This is how we can relate to one another, despite our variation in experiences and reactions. So, keep that in mind when you are discussing the loss of a loved one with a family member. What we feel is valid, but that feeling may shift between individuals as we are all made uniquely.


Grief from events unrelated to death

There are times we may experience grief when it doesn’t relate to a death. Experiencing grief in these situations can confuse us at first if we aren’t sure why we are so impacted by something that isn’t a death. Don’t let yourself believe you’re “overreacting” or being a wimp. It is completely normal to feel grief from life-changing events unrelated to death. These can include heartbreak or a breakup, moving, getting laid off from work or a career change, or friendships shifting. Experiencing grief after one of these events is only a way of your human self coping with the event.



Many people on this planet experience heartbreak. In some shape or form, we feel rejection in love or breakups. Understandably, this can shatter a person. If you have had a long relationship with someone, a breakup can result in feelings of grief. Going from talking every day to being ignored can cause one to grieve and feel extremely depressed. It can be hard to be okay again or to want to find real love again.



Moving away from family or friends or losing a friendship can also cause one to grieve. You’re missing your people, alone or being discluded, and all you find is negativity. Adjusting to life in a new setting can bring up feelings of nostalgia or “FOMO” (fear of missing out). Allow yourself to adjust, your mental health needs it.

Lastly, you can experience grief from job loss or being laid off. Career changes can also be a huge adjustment. If you’ve experienced a job loss, everything can feel unfair. It can feel like you will never be good enough, no matter how hard you try. You could have been treated wrongly and holding a grudge. Whatever happened at your job, this is a good time to allow yourself to cope but leave it in the past. This is your time to have a fresh start. Your boss who lost you is missing out! You won’t have to deal with them again. So, cope, but keep moving forward. Forgive. It will feel worth it in the end.


Grief from sudden death or traumatic events vs. expected death

Grieving a sudden loss or traumatic event feels impossible. Feelings of shock or denial may consume you at first, then everything comes crashing down. Last words, final moments, regrets, wishes, and dreams can bring you to deep despair. Undergoing such a loss means you loved fully but no words of comfort could help you. Allow yourself time. Take things slowly, moment by moment. Live in the present. Look at the small stuff. This will help you carry your grief, even if only a little.

Expected death can feel relieving but sad at the same time. You may have watched your loved one suffer for years and are glad they aren’t suffering here anymore. You’re still sad without them and may wish things were different. This is when you should also allow yourself time to adjust to your grief. It is a journey, but let yourself care for yourself.


Bakken-Young is here to help you with different kinds of grief

We are here for you as you grieve. This is more than providing a memorial for your loved one. We will walk you through this. Contact us today, we have many resources and grief groups to help you carry your grief. Please, contact us today. We want and will help you.

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