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A Predictor of a Grief Journey

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Day 10: A Predictor of the Grief Journey

I have learned over the years that the most impactful influencer of what one’s grief journey/process/experience is based on our relationship with the person who died—and in the words of my profession—based on the nature of that attachment with that person.

When a person dies, our grief focus tends to be on the event—meaning the death—the circumstances of it, the trauma of it, the suddenness of it or prolonged nature of it, and every single detail. This is adaptive to an extent and we all do it—it is how we come to learn that this event actually happened.

This initial focus on the event, however, is not necessarily what will shape one’s grief the most, with the major caveat of *as long as one has support to process the trauma of the event.*

Even when the death is particularly traumatic, it is my job to help people do 2 things simultaneously—1) process the trauma and 2) move towards reflecting on the relationship with this person.

Our relationship with our person IS the lens into our grief journey—and just as our relationships are full of complications and yearnings and seemingly counter intuitive, confusing, and paradoxical feelings and experiences, our grief process will also reflect those as well. Just as our relationships can provide us grounding, and love, and insight into who we are and how we want to evolve, our grief process will reflect those as well.

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