The Psychology of Grief
Death is a natural part of human existence and the grief associated with death is deeply personal. Grief is a response to loss. It should not be suppressed but it is important not to let the grief become consuming and destructive. Ghost hunters have consistently revealed that the cause of a haunting is often a massive amount of grief emanating from a tragic event. The strong feelings of sadness and loss are frequently the sources behind ghosts.
Each stage of grief represents a step in the recovery process. The healing process will vary depending on the grieving individual and the circumstances of the trauma. Because of the personal nature of grief, there is almost nothing that can be done to help a grieving ghost. The healing process cannot be forced. The good intentions of the living can actually backfire and push the ghost deeper into the haunting.
When sudden and unexpected deaths occur, the experience can cause devastating emotional trauma. A death can make people want to disappear or separate from reality. Isolation and confusion cause feelings of inconsolable grief. Ghosts feel the same emotional trauma that living individuals battle with on a daily basis. A heartbroken ghost suffering inconsolable grief seems to have separated from reality. The ghost refuses to move on and, instead, seems to search for a way to regain life.
The extreme mood swings of grief switch rapidly from calm reflection to paralyzing misery. Stimulation of the human senses (a smell, sound, touch, thought or image) can cause intense emotions to flood back to the surface. Ghostly activity can increase when a stimulus unlocks a feeling or memory from the past. Examples of these stimuli can include period music, a favorite poem, a recognizable scent, a familiar-looking visitor, etc.
A grief-stricken ghost must progress through the stages of grief. Surviving grief is not as easy as simply getting over it. Human emotions are so powerful that the feelings continue to drive the soul even after death. Working to relinquish the anguish and despair of grief can be the release that these tormented souls desperately need. In the end, all souls must struggle to find peace.