Lucky are those who have never had to experience grief, a complex emotion with many, varied, equally overwhelming stages.

Grief is hard to understand, especially if you've never been through it.

A woman went viral on Twitter with an analogy that people say is a very good way to explain grief.

Lauren Herschel explained grief on Twitter using "the ball and the box" analogy.


The theory, she says, was first shared by her doctor, used to describe how the brain triggers feelings of grief.

Her Twitter thread quickly went viral when it was first published and continues to be circulated widely on social media.

The theory paints grief as a ball inside a box with a "pain button" on the side. Immediately after a loss, the ball is big and often hits the pain button. Over time, the ball shrinks and, even though it bounces around the box, it hits the pain button a lot less often.

"For most people, the ball never really goes away. It might hit less and less and you have more time to recover between hits, unlike when the ball was still giant," she explained.

"I thought this was the best description of grief I've heard in a long time."

"I told my step dad about the ball in the box (with even worse pictures). He now uses it to talk about how he's feeling.

"The Ball was really big today. It wouldn't lay off the button. I hope it gets smaller soon."