Definition of Grief

My favorite definition of grief is that grief is the complex set of emotions that result when you need someone one more time and you reach out for them only to find out they are no longer there. Grief is the natural, human response to a significant loss. When you experience grief, it is because your heart is seeking a way to heal your broken heart.

People experience and express grief in unique ways. No two losses are the same between people and even for the same person at different times. One can experience grief symptoms on multiple levels:






How you define and experience grief is impacted by cultural traditions, your history of dealing with loss, experience of trauma, current stress and your belief systems.

Grief occurs when there is a loss of connection with a person, pet, community or way of life.

How Long Does Grief Last?

This is a very common question among those experiencing grief.  I created this video to address this.

The length of time one spends grieving depends on multiple factors including:

  • the quality of the relationship when a person dies
  • whether or not there was unfinished business in the relationship
  • the personal investment in the relationship or with other losses such as a job, career, home or community
  • the quality of your social support
  • and more

When there has been a significant loss, usually after about 2-3 years people notice that the pain is not as intense as it once was.  You have more good days than bad.

However, other estimates for the loss of a spouse, for example suggest it can take 5-8 years for a broken heart to heal.

As a Grief Recovery Coach and Counselor I help my clients heal their broken hearts more quickly.  Together we take the specific steps necessary to heal after loss.

Call me today at 248-929-5354 for a free consultation to talk about a healing plan for you.

Return to How to Deal with Grief from Definition of Grief

Image Grieving With Grace 8-week Workshop: Releasing Guilt, Regret and Fear

The upcoming Grieving with Grace Workshop provides a safe, supportive community for Christian women to process grief and it's conflicting emotions.  Join Debbra Bronstad for this 8-week online workshop to address guilt, regret, worries, anxiety, fear, anger and more as you adjust to life after loss. 

Click here to learn more.