Grief and Loss

What is it?

Grief and loss is an inevitable part of life, and each one of us has an individual style of coping with painful experiences. Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Feelings of loss are very personal, and only you know what is significant to you. The death of a loved one is often the most intense types of grief; however, any loss may cause extreme emotions. Other examples include relationship breakups, leaving home, losing a job and financial security, illness of a loved one, death of a pet, losing a friend, etc.

Typical Grief Responses:

When facing grief and loss, it is common to:

  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Feel profound sadness
  • Feel angry and resentful (toward yourself, God, doctors, or at the loved one)
  • Experience anxiety, nervousness, or fearfulness
  • Feel like you want to “escape”
  • Experience guilt or remorse
  • Be ambivalent/numb
  • Lack energy and motivation
  • Be affected by physical symptoms (nausea, weight loss/gain, aches, extreme fatigue, insomnia)

 

Coping with Grief and Loss:

The process of grief varies from person to person, and there is no exact timeline on how long it will last. Often, people that are grieving need to tell their story over and over again, while others draw comfort from their faith. There is no right or wrong way, but finding support and taking care of your physical and emotional health are crucial while going through a difficult time. It is vital to contact a counselor if you:

  • Feel like life isn’t worth living
  • Wish you had died with your loved one
  • Blame yourself for the loss or failing to prevent it
  • Feel numb and disconnected from others for more than a few weeks
  • Are having difficulty trusting others since your loss
  • Are unable to perform your normal daily activities

Resources:

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