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National Grief Awareness Day

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By Cara Beth Lewis

Today, August 30th, is Grief Awareness Day; A day to recognize the different ways individuals cope with loss, offer resources to those who are struggling with grief, and support people we know who are grieving a loss.

Definition of grief from Merriam-Webster dictionary

A : deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement

B : a cause of such suffering

Grief and mourning vary from person to person, just as anything else. No two people are just the same, and the way someone will mourn a loss is unpredictable. There is no set cure for grief, unfortunately. However, supporting those we love who are suffering from a loss and offering to help them however they need is a good start to help with the hardships of grief.

Psychologist Sigmund Freud famously pens, “grieving is a natural process that should not be tampered with.” In other words, grief is unavoidable, and this natural human process must run its course in order to heal.

Although similar, grief and mourning are not the same. While grief is the internal pain experienced from a loss, mourning is the external expression of the emotions that the grieving person feels.

HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL GRIEF AWARENESS DAY (From National Today)

  1. Support a grieving friend
    If a friend has been honest with you and shared a current story of grief or loss, today is the day to be an extra shoulder for them to cry on. While acknowledging that everyone processes their feelings differently, offer to support your friend in whatever way they need.

  2. Engage in self-care
    In the throes of grief, a normal human response to loss, self-judgment, and anger are not productive emotions. Rather than attempting to push yourself onto an acceptable “grieving timeline,” remember that there is no one path for those in mourning, and engage in self-care by letting yourself feel whatever you’re feeling.

  3. Post #NationalGriefAwarenessDay
    Help National Grief Awareness Day accomplish its mission of educating the public on grief by sharing what you’ve learned on social media. Creating space for any kind of reaction to loss is healthy for you, and might just be what someone in your social circle needed to see.