What Is Grief and When Does It Begin

Grief is one of those emotions we will not truly understand until it happens to us.  Recently a friend was quietly watching her dog with great intent.  Curious I asked what she was thinking and she shared that her wonderful dog was getting old and had begun to limp.  This winter would probably be her last and my friend was beginning to experience a quiet sadness knowing she would lose her pet in the ensuing months.  Her grief process had begun.  There were no tears or pangs of anguish but a quiet knowingness of an impending absence.

It seems being realistic about end of life issues allows us opportunities to prepare for loss.  We can work on our “bucket list”, complete communications and right past wrongs.  We can shift our time parameters to include basking in the relationship that will soon be changing form.  Perhaps there will be something we can capture to make sure we keep a piece of our loved one with us when they leave.

Julie Siri

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a specialization in death, dying and bereavement. I have worked over 20 years in hospice and have a deep respect and understanding regarding the end of life care process both for the dying patient and their family and friends.
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