Coping with Grief

It can be very difficult to talk about grief, our reaction to a loss.

Sometimes grief is marginalized by others, dismissed as “no big deal”, “just get over it.” This is called disenfranchised grief because it is not acknowledged by society.

And yet there are so many reasons we grieve aside from the death of a loved one: loss of a job, leaving one’s country of origin and adapting to a new, unknown environment, loss of a pet, loss of trust, familial trauma.

The examples are so far reaching and the stories that are told about loss relate unhappy and painful emotions.

Grief has the power to affect our physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional selves causing havoc in our lives. Grief can last a lifetime and it is only with the passage of time and some interventions that the intensity can diminish.

Support groups can be very effective providing a forum for sharing feelings. Journaling is another helpful activity for the expression of emotions.

Redefining meaningfulness and creating new traditions or habits can really contribute to the diminished power of the feelings. Loss is not something that is erased; it is something to be felt, using the experience to build one’s strength and resiliency.

What are your thoughts about grief? Drop me a line at I’d love to hear how you have coped with grief.

Miriam Lacher is manager of the Bayside Center for Behavioral Health at Sarasota Memorial.

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