Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

March 17, 2023

“Grief is not a medical disorder to be cured. Grief is not a spiritual crisis to be resolved. Grief is not a social woe to be addressed. Grief is, simply, a matter of the heart — to be felt.”
– Joanne Cacciatore

Janice began her day watching the morning news program, which featured a segment on bone marrow transplants. It had no sooner begun when it called to mind the loss of her 17-year-old son… 40 years ago. She turned off the television. She cried all morning and relived the pain of his death, along with the memories of those months of treatment and the anxiety of waiting for a diagnosis, the endless prayers, the countless doctors’ appointments and tests, and the final visits from family members, friends, teachers, and coaches as his condition got worse.

Very often, your grief — even decades-old grief — lies right below the surface and can erupt without warning, bringing back the familiar torment when you least expect it.

This is known as “reawakened grief,” which occurs when a certain event, anniversary, place, situation, or reminder triggers an outburst of your original pain. Reawakened grief can occur months or years later. Expect it, try to prepare for it, and recognize those things that cause your grief to return.

These reoccurrences can bring with them the same intense emotions that you originally experienced. You may feel sadness, fear, guilt, anger, and loneliness all over again.

It is helpful to know what triggers reawakened grief and to enlist the help of loved ones to walk with you through another birthday, anniversary, or Christmas celebration. But don’t try to escape the revived grief. Accept it for what it is.

***

Try to identify coping techniques that will help you navigate the emotions you feel from “reawakened grief.”