IS MY GRIEF NORMAL?
Sad events can cause sad feelings.
But what if a happy event causes sad feelings, is there something wrong with me?
According to the popular Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory there are over 40 life-events that can cause stress, often to the point of affecting health. Even events that might seem like positive ones can cause stress in our lives. An example might be a promotion. Of course there are benefits, but there might also be a loss of free time, loss of anonymity at work, loss of being able to make your own schedule if you are responsible for more projects or more people, etc.
The following is a list of events that have been shown to cause stress and which may provoke feelings of grief and/or loss. If any of these have happened to you, recently or in the past, perhaps it would help to take some time to explore how they may be affecting your ability to be happy today.
NOTE: This list is NOT meant to be comprehensive of all the losses that can cause grief, it is just a sample of common life events.
1. Death of a spouse or child
3. Marital separation
5. Death of a close family member
6. Personal injury or illness
8. Dismissal from work
9. Marital reconciliation
11. Change in health of family member
13. Sexual difficulties
14. Gain a new family member
15. Business readjustment
16. Change in financial state
17. Death of a close friend
18. Change to different line of work
19. Change in frequency of arguments
20. Major mortgage
21. Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
22. Change in responsibilities at work
23. Child leaving home
24. Trouble with in-laws
25. Outstanding personal achievement
26. Spouse starts or stops work
27. Begin or end school
28. Change in living conditions
29. Revision of personal habits
30. Trouble with boss
31. Change in working hours or conditions
32. Change in residence
33. Change in schools
34. Change in recreation
35. Change in church activities
36. Change in social activities
37. Minor mortgage or loan
38. Change in sleeping habits
39. Change in number of family reunions
40. Change in eating habits
42. Christmas/major holiday
43. Minor violation of law
Sue Hasker, MS
Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist®