What's considered "normal"?

With so many different opinions, theories, and outdated descriptions - what is considered normal in grief? 


Because we don’t usually talk about the realities of grief, most people aren’t aware of the many forms grief takes. If anything, we’re usually aware of ideas like the stages of grief, and we’re pretty sure grief shouldn’t last more than a couple of months. Those narrow definitions of grief mean that many grieving people think they’re doing grief wrong, and many supporters are worried that their friend’s grief is…. Weird. Dramatic. Dangerous. Not normal. 

Just because grief is painful doesn’t make it wrong. 

Normal grief covers a lot of territory. Grief is a full body, full mind experience: if it’s in the body or the mind – grief affects it. The image below (tap here to download) covers some of the most common expressions of grief, but it’s definitely not everything. While your “symptoms” might feel weird to you, whatever you’re experiencing, chances are someone else has felt it too. Even if you’ve lived through grief at other times in your life, you’ve never had to live this particular loss before. Your grief might show up in interesting or confusing ways.

For more on what’s normal inside grief, be sure to follow @refugeingrief on social. Where to next? Find more support after the image: 

  • You've got questions about grief. Sign up for Megan’s once a month grief support group calls, where you'll get answers to your questions about grief, meet other grieving people, and learn what to say to well-meaning people who just. don't. get. it. 
  • You want to explore your losses through writing. The Writing Your Grief self-guided course has helped more than 10,000 people tell the truth about their grief. It's awesome. Click the link to get started right now
  • Or get customized, text-based tips through Help Texts. Want customized support for yourself, AND tips for your friends and family so they can support you better? Use code megandevine to get $10 off. 

We can make things better, even when they can't be made right.