Grief is an emotion that we associate with pain, suffering, and loss. It is an essential part of the normal process of acknowledging the death of a loved one and starting to rebuild a life without that person. Grief is an uniquely individual process. Every person's experience is different, depending upon many factors such as age, health, culture, and religious background, and whether or not the survivors have other close family members or friends upon whom they can rely for support and comfort. It is important to remember that grief is normal and essential--and that there are as many ways to experience grief as there are people.
Losing someone you love is like suffering a physical wound: part of you is suddenly cut off, and the wound hurts, just as a physical injury does. And, as with a physical injury, it takes time for the wound to heal. The grieving process is the process of forming emotional "scar tissue" and learning to put your loss into perspective. And while you won't ever fully recover from from grief (as you do from a physical illness), you will reach a point when you can proceed with your life and take satisfaction from living.
The loss of a spouse, the loss of a child, and the loss of a parent are possibly the most difficult to face. But it is important to realize that no death is insignificant. Losing a friend or co-worker can also be devastating. Any sudden or unexpected death is also difficult and may require a longer grieving process than a loss that is expected, such as one from a long illness.
There is no right way to grieve. The death of a spouse, sibling, parent, cousin, grandparent, or close friend impacts everyone who knew and loved that person. And each person's response to death is different. Trust yourself to know what you need to get through this time. It is very important to accept offers of emotional support and kindness. The loving generosity of others will help ease the process.