Stress blog

Grieving is a necessary process

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. March 6, 2012

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Friends, colleagues and family members can be a source of strength. A firm handshake, a hug or a pat on the back can be just the tonic for the weary soul. Let me explain.

One of our wonderful nurses in our hospice program shared an article from a scientific journal on the issue of grief. The researchers made one point crystal clear: Grief is a process. Think of grief as a moving target that you can't avoid. There's no fast forward button. There's no quick fix. There's no medication that can resolve this healing process.

Grief is normal. Grief is expected. If you don't embrace the process despite the pain and anguish, healing and transitioning to a "new normal" will never occur.

Everyone knows someone who has tried to short-circuit this process with medications, relationships or work activities. But the grief always resurfaces, often in destructive ways, such as chemical dependency or behavioral issues.

The message may be difficult to hear, but the healing process takes time and you almost always come out the other side as a more sensitive and insightful person. You can then reach out to others and share what you've learned.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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14 Comments Posted

Mar. 06, 2012