1. keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.
2. a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.
Grief is a complex human emotion. Grief I have found usually occurs because of an unexpected loss or event in one's life. A lot of times when one of these life changing events happens, most people in your life are aware of it because it tends to be a big thing. Friends and family console you. They send you notes, give you hugs, and then they move on. The problem is... you don't.
I can't blame people for moving on. Unless they have directly experienced what I have (which they have no way of doing that), they can in no way understand how deeply my heartache runs. They move forward with their lives as I try to cope. At times I feel like I have a handle on everything and then all it takes is a simple trigger... a name, a car, a song, and I break down and feel this ache that won't go away.
"When I tell them the way I feel, it’s like they hear me but they’re really not listening. They’re hearing what they want to hear, they’re not really listening to what I’m telling them." - Britney Spears
According to WebMD:
"Grief is your emotional reaction to a significant loss. The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe feelings of grief. Whether you lose a beloved person, animal, place, or object, or a valued way of life (such as your job, marriage, or good health), some level of grief will naturally follow.
Grieving is a personal experience. Depending on who you are and the nature of your loss, your process of grieving will be different from another person's experience. There is no "normal and expected" period of time for grieving. Some people adjust to a new life within several weeks or months. Others take a year or more, particularly when their daily life has been radically changed or their loss was traumatic and unexpected.
A wide range of feelings and symptoms are common during grieving. While you are feeling shock, numbness, sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, or fear, you may also find moments of relief, peace, or happiness. And although grieving is not simply sadness, "the blues," or depression, you may become depressed or overly anxious during the grieving process.
The stress of grief and grieving can take a physical toll on your body. Sleeplessness is common, as is a weakened immune system over time. If you have a chronic illness, grieving can make your condition worse."
My family had two dogs prior to my mission; Bennie and Scrap. Bennie died of old age and left Scrap behind. Scrap had never known life without Bennie. We adopted Scrap when he was a puppy and Bennie was still alive. Bennie became Scrap’s security blanket. In reaction to Bennie’s passing, Scrap stopped eating. He couldn't sleep at night without Bennie's toy. He no longer chewed bones (they used to chew them together). He became more aggressive towards strangers and anxiety ridden all the time. We spoke to our vet who told us that dogs often grieve for months or even years because they feel things so deeply.
This past year my family adopted another dog named Meka. Scrap initially wasn't fond of this new intruder. But as time passed, Scrap began to chew bones again; he calmed down, and gained back his appetite. It's gotten to the point that they have to be with each other at all times or they both will get really upset. Scrap healed, he was able to move on.
In the May 1995 Ensign, Merrill J. Bateman, Presiding Bishop in the Church at the time gave a talk entitled The Power to Heal from Within:
"The prophet Alma also spoke of Christ’s healing power as he taught the Gideonites. Referring to Christ, Alma stated that he would go forth “suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. … And he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, … that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people” (Alma 7:11–12). Whatever the source of pain, Jesus understands and can heal the spirit as well as the body."
I myself have been struggling with grief. I've been giving myself a hard time because I've told myself that I should be past all of this. I should no longer feel pain. I should no longer feel so sad at times. I've come to realize that grief is a real emotion that should be acknowledged. You feel it. It affects you. Everyone copes in his or her own time, and that's okay... because we are all different. It is okay for me to have tears fall that won't stop. It is okay to feel like my heart is being stomped on and crushed into a million pieces. Grief may be in the back of my mind a large majority of the time, but it does not control my life.
My Savior has gone through what I have. He understands. He can and will heal me. I know this. I testify of it.