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What Is Grief?

The Grief Toolbox is providing our user contributed articles as well as aggregated articles from a variety of blogs. Please join our community and comment on the articles, let us and others know what you found helpful and that you did not. Together we can help each other as well as future travelers on their grief journey. We are also always looking for additional contributors; if you see a topic you would like to share your thoughts on, please submit content.

Grief can be described in best terms as being is like the ocean.. waves of water.

Small ripples that lap at your toes,

Then ones that rock you just a bit at your knees as you walk as little in, 

The bigger ones that topple over your head hit your stomach when it smacks against you 


By Harriet Hodgson

Anticipatory grief is a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded event happens. When my husband’s aorta split at the end of October I felt intense anticipatory grief. He had three operations in less than a week. During the final, 13-hour operation he had a spinal stroke and his...


I am thankful for the brilliant teachings contained in “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers” by Annie Kagan.  For me, Billy’s teachings are not just about life, death and the afterlife; they are about recognizing that every life has value, regardless of what is seen on the surface. With that being said, I am dedicating this piece to all of the chemically dependent individuals whose stories...



I have become so fond of the color that represents my pain.

 The color of despair and sorrow,

 the very depths of my unhappiness.

 Black represents me in so many ways.

The hole that becomes big enough to consume my entire body,

 black knows no boundaries.

 An endless fall to the very bottom of a cave,

black shrouds...


What is the “right” way to grieve? Is there a right way to grieve?  What is it?  We understand that when someone we love dies it is normal to grieve, it is a natural response to the loss.  But what does it mean to grieve, how are we to do it and how do we know that we are doing it right?  Many well-meaning people will tell us how to grieve...


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