The experience of grief is unique for each of us. While we can make some general assumptions, there’s no template that describes the experience for everyone.

Grief is cumulative. That is, each time loss is grieved, the grief encompasses the lifetime of loss and the remnants of each experience.

Grief following a significant loss is most often a lifelong process, with each pivotal point in life bringing the grief back up to be processed from a new perspective.

Grief, loss, and suffering fundamentally change and reshape us.

Grief is not about forgetting or disconnecting. Rather, healthy grief involves a renewed connection with what is lost and finding a life-giving way to carry that loss. It’s about remembering the parts of self that get lost amidst the experience and reorienting us in our relationship with ourselves, the world, and others.

Grief is a whole-body experience: emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual. Each has a wide range of expression that can cue us to grief’s presence.

While grief and trauma are often intertwined, there are significant differences between them. Trauma should be addressed with trauma-specific interventions that often go beyond what is possible in circles.

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