Grief is an experience unique to each individual, and unique to each particular loss, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief can come in cycles, where an individual feels sure that they’ve seen to completion every stage and element of their grief, experience a reprieve, regain some sense of normalcy, and then suddenly the grief unexpectedly hits them again like a wound cut afresh.
Other times, grief can come in big waves, hitting hard and fast, then receding, only to return again with the same intensity.
While there are some identifiable stages of grief, there is no set, definite, universal experience of them, there is no right or wrong intensity at which to feel them, and there is no wrong or right amount of time to spend feeling them. In that same vein, there is nothing that dictates that all and any stages of grief won’t reemerge or repeat themselves over time.
Grief is a fluid experience of mixed emotions, sometimes unrecognizable ones that only a counselor can help one work through, and some feelings may need to be readdressed and re-processed as we move through different stages of our lives.
Grief can sometimes present as denial, anger, despair, numbness, mania, depression, anxiety, sudden personality changes, confusion, fear, guilt – grief is a mixed bag of all of these feelings and more.