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Heartlinks Grief Center, a not-for-profit community-based program of Family Hospice, assists grieving children, adults, families and groups move from grief to growth through individual and family counseling, support groups, and other community programs.



When you are a grieving person,

You will undoubtedly experience

The unpleasant sensation of

Griefbursts and gutpunches.


You can’t prepare for either one.

They happen when they happen.

A griefburst or a gutpunch comes

When you least expect it.


There’s not a whole lot of difference

Between the two.

I consider a griefburst to be

A quick memory that causes us to cry briefly.


A gutpunch, however,

Can be an unexpected event or happening

That causes a longer period of sadness

And to feel as though the wind has been knocked out of us.


Neither sensation occurs at predictable times.

I personally experienced a gutpunch for my dad

While riding the cograil up to Pike’s Peak!

He had been deceased for ten years!

I have had numerous griefbursts

Since I became a grieving person:

In the grocery store

When I passed her favorite cookies.


When the department stores started decorating

For the coming Holidays;

When I sat on our deck

And reminisced about how she loved the outdoors.


On a good day, those things wouldn’t bother me.

But if I am especially tender, I will definitely cry.

I have come to accept crying as a normal bodily function.

If I cry in front of people, so be it.


As Washington Irving said,

“There is a sacredness in tears…

They are the messengers of overwhelming grief,

Of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”


In other words,

If you experience a griefburst or a gutpunch,

It’s perfectly normal,

And it’s okay to cry.




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