Grief is not one emotion

Grief is the container that holds all of the emotions felt as a result of loss.

Many people equate grief with sadness, but grief is much, much more than sadness. We can feel any combination of emotions inside of grief, and all of them are OK.

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Joy
  • Gratitude
  • Anxiety
  • Relief
  • Confusion
  • Frustration
  • Numbness
  • Fear
  • Hope
  • Resentment
  • Yearning
  • Envy

Grief covers a whole range of emotions and an entire spectrum of the human experience. So, you might be really sad. We think of that, sort of, as the gold standard, but you can also be bored. You can also be confused. You can be angry. Sometimes, people can feel numb inside grief. They don't feel anything at all and because we have the idea that grief is you being sad and weepy, if you don't feel anything at all, then obviously there's something wrong with the way that you're grieving. And, I think the thing to remember here is that anything somebody feels inside their own personal grief is correct.

Grief is not just one emotion. I think western society teaches us that grief is about being sad. Or, it's about being depressed. But, grief is actually a spectrum -- a real plethora of emotions.

So, grief is about anger. It’s about sadness. I’s about regret. It’s about guilt; shame. Those uncomfortable emotions. It’s about joy. It’s about peace and hope. All of these things are a part of your narrative and a part of how you get to the story of who you are and how you are.