Grief is the powerful, multifaceted, and often uncontrollable response that human beings experience following a personally painful or traumatic event. The movie P.S. I Love You depicted a realistic example of how grief strikes unexpectedly, and how people slowly accept life alongside a loss. The main character Holly, a widow in her 30’s, grieves for her husband Gerry, who died of a brain tumor. At first, she cannot stand to be around anyone. She stays in her apartment for months, sleeps in his clothes, doesn’t eat, bathe or socialize. Her family and friends are perplexed by her absence from every day life. The movie comedically moves Holly thru all the stages of grief, as she learns to live without Gerry.
Like Holly’s loss, many other types of events can also trigger grief to varying degrees, such as:
Losing a job
A significant change in lifestyle or financial status
Ending a friendship, romantic relationship, or a marriage
Serious illness or disease, whether personal or affecting someone you love
Losing your physical mobility or independence
A robbery or burglary that violates your feeling of security/safety
An automobile accident or other significant "near-death" event
It’s important to understand that grief is not a single emotion; it's an experience or state-of-being that manifests itself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Moreover, like our fingerprints, each of us experience grief uniquely –whether it’s how long we grieve or how we grieve, even when situations are similar, such as the death of a parent, spouse/partner, child, pet, etc.
Cheryl Rumley, RN
Owner, Apex Health Care Services &
Aging in Place Toolkit Advisor