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Healing Grief… Moment by Moment: A HOPE Connection Podcast – DIF: Duration, Intensity, Frequency

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“Healing Grief… Moment by Moment” is a podcast created and produced by HOPE Connection. In each short episode Dr. Jo Christner or another HOPE Connection therapist offers a meditative exploration of a different aspect of grief and the healing process. As you listen, we wish you love, light and comfort.

This episode: “DIF: Duration, Intensity, Frequency” (June 2021) – Dr. Jo Christner

This is a moment of healing.

Will I ever get through this? I can hardly bear the pain. It feels unbearable and like it will last forever.

It’s normal to feel like this during grief. It can feel like this right after a loved one dies, in the beginning of grieving. It can also feel like this many months later. You’ve heard me say this before: grief is in the body — it’s in our chemistry.

Over time, and doing your grief work, the symptoms of grief will begin to shift. How will you know if they’re shifting? There’s an acronym to remember: DIF. It stands for duration, intensity and frequency. The symptoms of grief will most likely change in these ways.

Let’s take tears, for example. If you’re a person whose tears come often and deeply in grief, you might notice that over time they don’t last quite as long. They aren’t quite as intense. And they don’t happen all of the time now.

The duration, intensity and frequency of your tears is shifting. There is a difference.

The same may happen with feelings like sadness, anxiety and worry, just to name a few. Over time and doing your grief work, things inside begin to shift. It doesn’t mean that you’re forgetting your loved one. It doesn’t mean that you no longer love your loved one. It means that grief has a natural healing process that shifts if you allow yourself to grieve and to heal. Trust in the process. Share your grief in a safe place with others. And the healing will unfold.

Wishing you much love and light in healing your heart, moment by moment.

By Jo Christner, Psy.D.