Understanding Grief

The Ball
The Box

A visualisation of the experience of profound and painful loss over time

Imagine this box is your mind.

Inside the box is a button which triggers pain.

Now picture a ball inside the box. The ball contains your thoughts about who (or what) you have lost.

When the loss initially happens, the ball is gigantic. It can’t help but hit the button over and over again. This experience can feel overwhelming and relentless.

As time passes, however, the ball gradually reduces in size. It still hits the button but not as often. Unfortunately it can be difficult to predict when it will hit the button... and when it does, it can hurt just as much as before.

In most cases, the ball never disappears completely. It simply hits the button much less frequently, giving you more time to recover between hits. The time it takes for the ball to reduce in size is different for each loss that is experienced. The most important thing you can do for yourself and others is to be as patient and kind as possible.