Paradise Kids Australia

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What is Grief?

Grief is our emotional response to a loss of any kind. Without warning, things in our life can change, now it’s not like it was before and something might also be missing. The loss of someone or something important to us causes us pain … that pain is grief. Grief will hurt as we learn to let go and say goodbye. At times our grief will cause a stir of different feelings within us.

Grief is not an illness to be cured or something to be got over as quickly as possible, grief is a process we go though to heal and become emotionally strong again. There is no set timetable for the grief process, each person heals in their own time. Fixing a person’s grief isn’t about cheering the person up to make them feel better, it’s about being better at noticing the feelings felt and being able to express them safely.

Not all loss is the same and grief is different for each person. Some losses can be regained, causing a return of comfort and happiness. Some losses cannot be undone which is much harder. Let’s look at the differences between losses that can be regained and those that cannot…

REGAINED LOSS – a loss of something that can be returned to us.

  • A separation from something you love like … a loved one going away or moving far away.
  • A grandparent or family member becomes really sick then recovers.
  • A pet or beloved treasure is missing then found.
  • Isolating during a pandemic causing you to miss out on … friends | school | family | social activities.
  • A friend moving away or changing school | classes | teachers.

GRIEVOUS LOSS – a loss of something we can’t get back.

  • Death of a family member, loved one or your family pet.
  • Parents separating or a family break-up.
  • Loss related to a crisis or disaster … fire | flood | accident | drought | pandemic.
  • Having a disability or serious medical illness that impacts on the things you used do to or love doing.
  • You miss out on something you really wanted due to an illness | lack of money | family issues | time.

Now, let’s journal about any big change that has happened. Download the My Changes Activity Worksheets HERE

What does Grief look like?

Earlier, Luke talked to us about grief being like a wave and how when you are grieving, you feel different feelings at different times. Did you know that grief not only affects our emotions but it also causes physical reactions in our body and at times, affects how we behave.

We are all different so our grief will be different too. You may have a brother or sister who is grieving just like you but they may feel things in a very different way to you, and that’s okay.

Now. let’s investigate! Click on each ARROW (under the heading below ‘Grief Can Make You’) to discover the different ways grief can affect our body, emotions and behaviours … Is any of them what your grief looks like?

Download your My Signs of Grief Activity Checklist HERE


A big change can cause you to feel unsettled … It can be like having a ball of jumbled feelings inside [confused] or not knowing what you should feel [unsure] or feeling nothing at all [numb].

There may be lots of unanswered questions about what has happened. You may wonder where the person or thing you are missing has gone to, and why?

You might get frustrated over what has happened and worry about what may or may not happen in the future.

Keeping your grief all bottled up inside can cause your body to hurt too.

  • Your tummy may feel like there is a big hole inside.
  • Your head may start to feel like it must have a brick on it for it is so heavy.
  • Your throat may feel dry and tight making it hard to swallow.
  • Your heart may ache!

There may be times you want to be alone and cry because you are sad and other times you may just want to play and that makes you feel happy.

Then you might feel guilty about playing and feeling happy when everyone else is feeling sad.

Sometimes we feel a responsibility to feel how others want us to feel. This can cause you to act outwardly different to how you really feel on the inside.

If we keep hiding our true feelings, one day they will just pop out all by themselves as explosive emotions.

Sometimes we feel the need to fix other’s sadness. Trying to make them happy again by looking for ways to cheer them up.

While you can be supportive during this time, each person must process their own grief, to grow and be strong again.

After a big change, feelings of unfairness can come. We might think no one else is going through what we are going through or that no one understands how we are feeling.

Grief can cause anger to arise. It can be directed at many different things, sometimes people. You may even be angry at the very thing or person you lost as now you are left behind, without it or them in your life.

Grief can cause a change in eating patterns … wanting to eat more or maybe not wanting to eat at all. This is due to feeling disrupted and emotionally stressed.

Grief can cause loss of sleep due to scary dreams or worry. This is because the brain is finding it hard to stop and rest, it is processing all the feelings and is over-working.

Sometimes we feel that if we did something or didn’t do something this would not have happened. This is called unresolved grief.

You may feel it’s your fault, blame yourself and feel guilty for what has happened.

When you are hurting from grief you may feel out of control. Your body might want to kick or hit something because you are angry and upset.

You may get more easily bothered by people or things and be reactive.
You may feel cranky and start fights with others.

The Butterfly Hug … to calm strong feelings!

Our strong feelings need care. The Butterfly Hug is an exercise to help calm and soothe you when strong feelings are present. Next time you feel nervous or scared you can give yourself a butterfly hug! Let’s join Miss Dee and Chloe to see how it’s done…

My Special Stone … craft activity

After you finish making your special stone, clean up your work space and allow your stone to completely dry. Keep your special stone with your workbook for you will use it during each of your weekly sessions. Actually, you will need it for our next activity!

Mountain Meditation

Now your special stone is ready to use, let’s join Miss Dee and Chloe at The Rainbow House for the Mountain Meditation. This imaginative exercise helps you stay grounded through the changes of life, remaining strong and secure within your own being. In times of distress and uncertainty, you can use this meditation to restore yourself to a sense of calm.

Once you finish your meditation, draw and document what you imagined. Download the Mountain Meditation Worksheet HERE.

Yoga … mountain pose

To end our first lesson, we will rejoin Miss Dee and Chloe at The Rainbow House for our weekly yoga pose. Stretching our body and focusing our thoughts as we breathe slow and deep … in and out. Today we will do the Mountain Pose. This is grounding pose that helps you feel safe and strong in your own space. To begin, find an area within your home that is clear, free of items, cords or anything you could trip over. Click on the card for basic instructions and let’s get started…

Mountain Yoga pose

That brings us to the close of Session One. Throughout the week, remember to notice any feelings present and journal about those feelings. When your feelings become overwhelming, you can revisit any of the activities we learnt during this session … The Butterfly Hug, The Mountain Meditation and the Mountain Yoga Pose.

See you next week in Session Two