Rare Life
August 30, 2021

The Many Forms of Grief

Featured imageA person grimaces in pain and puts their hand to their forehead.
Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash
This week, we’re exploring just a few of grief’s many forms.

Today, August 30, is Grief Awareness Day, so our links explore grief, in just a few of its many forms.

‘4 Types of Grief Nobody Told You About’

“The word grief has come to be understood solely as a reaction to a death,” writes Sarah Epstein, LMFT, at Psychology Today. “But that narrow understanding fails to encompass the range of human experiences that create and trigger grief.” In a fascinating and succinct list, Epstein goes on to explain four experiences of grief that are less likely to be discussed.


After her sister passed away from a rare form of cancer, writer Vauhini Vara didn’t know how to write about her — so she turned to AI for help. The result is a transformative exploration of grief and an absolutely phenomenal work of art.

‘Finding the Heart’

“When Mark was diagnosed, I sometimes felt as if I’d caused his illness,” writes religion professor Elaine Pagel of her son Mark’s rare disease diagnosis. “Although I wasn’t a traditional believer, and didn’t take religious stories literally, somehow their premises had shaped my subconscious. Now I had to divest myself of the illusion that we deserved what had happened.” In this heartrending depiction of grief, Pagel’s professional background informs and quietly inflames her personal experience.

‘It’s OK That You’re Not OK’

Megan Devine, the author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, is a psychotherapist, grief advocate and communication expert who helps people face their toughest experiences. In this Once Upon a Gene episode, she speaks with host Effie Parks about misconceptions related to grief, advice for interacting with someone who’s grieving and more.

Have a link to share? We’d love to see it. Contact us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and let us know what you’re reading, listening to and watching.

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