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Grief and Grieving - What Happens

Feeling and expressing grief continued...

Spirituality often is part of the grieving process. You may find yourself looking for or questioning the higher purpose of a loss. While you may gain comfort from your religious or spiritual beliefs, you might also be moved to doubt your beliefs in the face of traumatic or senseless loss.

Grieving problems. In this complex and busy world, it can be hard to fully grieve a loss. It is possible to have unresolved grief or complications associated with grieving, particularly if you:

  • Had several major losses in a short period of time.
  • Lost someone very important in your life. You may feel that you will never get over the loss of someone special.
  • Experienced the unexpected or violent death of a loved one, such as the death of a child or a death caused by an accident, a homicide, or a suicide.
  • Have special life circumstances that act as obstacles to grieving, such as having to return to work too soon after a death.
  • Have a history of depression or anxiety.

Adjusting to a loss

It can take years to go through a grieving process. Feelings of grief may return during holidays, birthdays, and other special events.

With loss, your sense of self and security is disrupted. It may help to develop or strengthen connections with other people, places, or activities. These new parts of your life are not meant to replace what you have lost. Instead, they serve to support you.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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