Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss or change of any kind. Of itself, grief is neither a pathological condition nor a personality disorder. Living with a chronic illness creates change and loss. The conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior leads to Grief.
Grief is complicated. There is no one way to experience grief. Feelings, thoughts, reactions, and challenges related to grief are very personal. The experience of grief is unique to each of us, unique to what we are grieving and may change over time. Prior to a diagnosis missing out on a lunch date with a friend may be disappointing. After diagnosis, missing out on lunch with a friend because you aren’t feeling well may trigger a feeling of grief. Something you enjoyed in the past has changed or been taken away because of your illness.
The type of loss or change can vary across a huge spectrum. From tangible losses, such as loss of movement, loss of income and changes to physical appearance; to intangible losses such as loss of control, loss of independence, loss of hope for the future.
If we are able to recognize that what we are feeling is grief, we can then move forward with finding the best suited support and resources. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your grief, finding professional support can help you in navigating the complexities of grief.