According to the American Psychological Association, grief is the anguish experienced after significant loss, typically the death of a beloved person. Grief is often distinguished from bereavement, which is the condition of having lost a loved one to death (APA, 2018).
Grief occurs when someone or something we care about is lost to us. We may not grieve for all lost relationships; yet, we grieve for those who have become important to us over time. These can be relationships with people that we have strong connections to, such as family members, spouses, significant others, and friends; places we feel attached to, or things that are sentimental to us.
We can also grieve for certain periods in our lives, lost opportunities, or even grieve for the person we were in the past. For example, a new mother may grieve for her past life before the birth of her child.
No matter how varied our experiences may be, one thing is certain: we all experience grief. Although the inevitability of grief is daunting, its certainty can also allow us to take proactive steps to manage it.
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