Parent's Resource Center

What is Grief?


Grief is related to desire. Whether the desire is large or small, if it is not met, you will probably have grief. An example of a small desire might be the experience of your computer crashing. Most of us have a desire that our systems remain stable and when that desire is thwarted we have a bit of loss and grief.

This example is not meant to trivialize grief, rather it is meant to help bring the understanding that grief is a part of everyday life. Experts are calling these small losses "micro grief". Our understanding of our micro-grief can help us in dealing with the chaos and overwhelming nature of the grief that follows a death.

You can think of all of the thwarted desires that arise when someone we love dies. We want that person to be with us still, we desire their presence, companionship, or blessing, we long for the connection we once had, or possibly desire to say one last thing. We are assaulted and many times overwhelmed by waves of desires that will never be met.

The grief from a death has an underlying similarity to our computer crash example: desire. The difference is in the intensity of the desire. When looked at in this way we can see that grief is a part of life.