Grief is an individual’s natural reaction to the loss of someone or something that holds significant meaning. Grief is not a single emotion, but rather a wide range of intense emotions accompanied by physical and behavioral reactions.
Grieving is a personal experience that is often physically and emotionally draining. When a loss is sudden or violent, it may invoke traumatic reactions, such as intense fear, numbness, helplessness, or horror.
Grief and bereavement, which describes the period of grieving, can often become more complicated after a traumatic incident, such as a homicide. These situations may prolong the intensity and duration of emotional reactions. It’s important to recognize the amount of support a grieving person receives from their family, friends, and community is critical to how successfully they will cope with grief.
The following organizations, publications, and related resources provide additional information on grief and bereavement.