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Grief and Loss

Grief and loss affect everyone differently. Your reactions may be very different from others. How you grieve may depend upon several factors. One factor is the circumstance of the loss (who has died, whether the death was sudden or followed a chronic illness, how the person died, if the death was violent or due to suicide). Other factors contributing to the way you grieve are personal factors such as gender; age and life experience; culture and faith; and personality. (Adapted from Working through Grief: A Self-Care Handbook, Channing L. Bete, Grass Roots Press, 2005)

Regardless of how you grieve, please make sure that during your time of grief you take care of yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually. You may find that you need to let go of prior expectations of yourself while you are coping with this loss in your life. Please know that you are not alone in your daily struggles. Accept help when it is offered; seek help if it is not.

Intial Grief Reactions: Be patient. Grief reactions come and go, and can show up over many months. Most grief reactions begin to soften over time. Every person’s time line is different.

Normal Physical Symptoms of Grief: Rest assured, these symptoms go away over time.

Ways to Cope with a Sense of Overwhelming Loss:

(Adapted from Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy: J. William Worden)

If you are experiencing any of these emotional and physical responses, and they become extremely difficult, unbearable or intrusive, or are hindering your ability to function on a daily basis, please talk with your doctor, mental health provider, or spiritual leader. They can assist you in dealing with your grief.

You may also contact UMHS Depression Center at 734-936-4400 or the Psychiatric Emergency Room of your local hospital.