Posted by: Jeannie | January 5, 2010

Depression vs. normal grief

A couple friends showed some true friend concern over my last Facebook status of last night:  wishing this pain would go away and my heart could stop crying.  While I never meant for anything to come out of it, let alone a debate, the concern of possible depression came up.

After carefully considering the idea, especially knowing that that has been something I have struggled with, I determined that I don’t believe it’s depression, but rather recycling through the grief process yet again. I’ve been told by another friend who has suffered the loss of several babies that I’ve been pretty normal for someone whose just had all of their dreams for a child ripped away from them, that it’s normal for the grief process to repeat itself and especially around the holiday/family-times of the year, and that grief has no time table. Yes, I know depression can be a part of the grief process, but I don’t believe that is the case right now.

I went to and did some looking up of grief versus depression and after reading a couple of the results, I’m confident that it really is just normal grief and nothing more.  According to, grief and depression are two related but different responses that are frequently confused for each other. Grief is the body’s normal response to a loss.  Clinical Psychologist and Grief Expert Dr. Therese Rando’s definition of grief includes “the psychological, behavioral, social, and physical reaction to the loss of someone or something that is closely tied to a person’s identity. Depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for an extended time.  The identifying symptom of depression is that the person is feeling the constant, overwhelming feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration for the majority of the day for at least two weeks.

While it has been a dream, I was told it is like a death; the death of a dream that has been everything to me for almost literally half my lifetime, and that that is major.  I’ve been told by others that the specific grief I’ve shown has been that of a parent who has lost their child and had others assure me that I really am not losing my mind (I’d honestly wondered!)

While the feelings I’ve struggled with have felt overwhelming at times (like last night, or through parts of December), they have not been constant.  There have been intermingled moments of happiness and satisfaction, like getting some laughs out of the first part of the childrens Christmas program before things turned rough, like when my then 14-month-old niece willingly let me hold her twice on Christmas Day (she doesn’t get to see me often enough to remember me yet and had treated me like the evil boogey man on the last few previous visits), like truly enjoying spending New Years Day evening having dinner and fellowship with some friends, like being able to write about the goodness of God and focusing on His faithfulness, like being able to move with the beat on the oldies station and being able to laugh at my cats as they act like goofballs.

But, every now and then, like last night, the pain hits again and I feel a need to at least attempt to reach out and hope I can find a friend who has a moment to be there.  Last night they were in abundance 🙂  I’d like to think any body whose human (making some assumptions here 😉  ) has been there at some point and knows what I mean.


  1. Jeannie
    I believe youre right, I know that being a mother, having a child is the thing you want more than anything, but, I also know that what we want and what God has planned are sometimes two different things.
    Dont give up, God plans and time are sometimes different, be patient, He never makes
    mistakes. If it is His will, He has the perfect child for you

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