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  • Writer's pictureLilly Ismail

The Many Masks of Grief: A Journey Through Hidden Emotions and Healing Paths

Grief, a natural response to loss, is a deeply personal journey that looks different for everyone. Grief can manifest in different ways for different people. Grief can also occur not only because of death but for many other reasons such as a job loss, loss of friendship, end of a relationship, etc.

How Grief Shows Up in People: Grief can manifest in a multitude of ways, often impacting our emotional, physical, and behavioral well-being.

  1. Emotional Manifestations: These can range from deep sadness and anger to guilt, anxiety, or numbness. Mood swings and unexpected emotional responses are common.

  2. Physical Symptoms: Grief can also take a physical toll, leading to changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, fatigue, or physical aches.

  3. Behavioral Changes: Withdrawal from social activities, loss of interest in hobbies, or difficulty concentrating are typical behavioral signs of grief.

Navigating Through Grief: Understanding and accepting that grief is a process, not a state, is key to navigating it. Here's how to approach this journey:

  1. Acknowledging the Grief: It's important to recognize and accept your grief as a valid response to loss.

  2. Expressing Emotions: Whether through talking, writing, or creative expression, finding an outlet for your emotions is crucial.

  3. Seeking Support: Connecting with friends, family, or support groups can provide comfort and understanding.

Healthy Ways to Cope with Grief:

  1. Self-Care: Prioritize activities that promote physical and emotional well-being, such as exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient rest.

  2. Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practices like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help manage stress and anxiety.

  3. Professional Help: Sometimes, seeking help from a therapist or counselor can be beneficial in processing and understanding your grief.

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms to Avoid:

  1. Substance Abuse: Turning to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain only provides temporary relief and can lead to more problems.

  2. Isolation: While some solitude can heal, prolonged isolation can hinder the healing process.

  3. Ignoring the Pain: Suppressing or ignoring your grief can delay the healing process and lead to long-term emotional difficulties.


Grief is a unique and personal journey with no right or wrong way to experience it. Understanding its manifestations and adopting healthy coping mechanisms can guide you toward healing and growth. Remember, it's okay not to be okay, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.


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