What does grief mean? 

Brief Summary of "What does Grief mean?" 

1.  Grief is the body’s reaction to any painful, severe emotional trauma in life. 

2.  Grief is an overwhelming sadness with feelings of despair.

3.  Grief is the heart's longing for something loved and lost.  

See below a fuller answer, and links to some inspiring and beautiful definitions and explanations of grief.  


Dark yellow sunrise with quote answering the question What does grief mean?

Full answer to the question - what does grief mean?: 

Grief is an overwhelming sadness with feelings of despair. There will be turmoils of emotion. The pain, sorrow and anguish are very real and can be debilitating. 

There are many definitions of grief given in dictionaries, with many causes, usually associated with loss of a loved one.  However people can also grieve when they lose their job, their health, the family pet, get divorced, or when a loved one is diagnosed with a chronic illness. 

From losing your first love as a teenager to the loss of a partner of many years, the sorrow and desolation felt can be heartbreaking.

Grief is, in many ways, the body’s reaction to any painful, severe emotional trauma in life. 

It is a protective mechanism with shock and tears helping to ease the path to recovery. Everyone grieves in their own way and time.  Circumstances and personalities also play a part in recovery and there are no time limits.

What does grief mean for the future? 

Everyone needs support from friends and family at these difficult times and there is no shame in admitting that help from professionals may be required. Independent people often find this causes anxiety as they have always been able to cope with life easily before. Grief also means that you have to give yourself time to readjust too and accept the changed circumstances in your life.

You have to create a life without your loved one or find a new job, or begin a new life without your beloved pet.  There are so many reasons to grieve - not one more important than another - as the pain is so real for each individual.  However losing a loved one is the ultimate test that many have never experienced.

Does grief make us stronger?

Although hard to bear at the time and not easy to believe, these life crises and sorrows do make us stronger eventually.  We cope for ourselves, our friends and our families, but most of all for our loved ones that we lost.

Each day of life is a precious gift and should not be taken for granted. No one ever said that our lives would be easy. However, the slings and arrows of life's misfortunes can be unevenly distributed. Many people get more challenges in life than others. Those who have had a great childhood, good friends and family and never known the loss of a loved one have never been tested. 

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is an apt saying.

It is not what happens to us in life, but how we react to it that influences how we will cope. 

Early experiences such as losing our beloved gold fish or pet as a child or facing the loss of a beloved grandparent help us to accept that death is an inevitable part of our existence. 

Some people say that when they lost their wonderful partner, it was the worst thing that could happen, so nothing can upset them as much again.  Other people may get overwhelmed by multiple losses coming one after another.  

We all suffer grief in our own way and no loss of a true friend is ever less important than another. 

Perhaps it is an individual's experiences of loss over the years which makes them appear stronger. It may be that some are able to cope with loss because of earlier life experiences.  

Related Pages: 

Beautiful definitions of grief provided by the experts 

Books on grief

Understanding different types of grief

> > What Does Grief Mean?

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Memorial Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia is one of the earth's oldest plants, with a spectacular flower which dates back 95 million years.  What a beautiful specimen to commemorate a life. 

These trees are grown by the foremost magnolia nursery in the country and they will send a variety most suited to the recipient's climate. 

The flowers in spring will bring joy to the bereaved and help to heal their heart.


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