Grief and Loss

Grief is a deep sadness caused by loss, remorse or bereavement. There are many life events that can trigger feelings of grief and loss. Loss of relationships through break-ups, divorce, death of a family member or loved one, personal injury or significant health changes, and changes in school or employment status are all common experiences that can trigger grief. While there is no right or wrong way to grieve we have come to understand that it is normal and necessary to allow yourself time to adjust to the changes brought on by loss. Several common reactions to grief/loss have been identified and are frequently referred to as the “5 stages of grief.”

  • Denial
    At first we often deny that the loss has taken place and may act as if nothing has happened. Some mistake this as lack of caring but is often a defense against the intensity of the feelings brought on by the loss.
  • Anger
    Often the grieving person is angry with the person causing the hurt, even in death or at God/the world for letting it occur. The anger is often turned inward as the grieving person may feel that there was something they should have been able to do to prevent the loss (guilt).
  • Bargaining
    Ruminating about what could have been done to prevent the loss, or making “deals with God” to reverse the events that lead to the loss.
  • Depression
    Loneliness, isolation, disturbed sleep and appetite, decreased energy and concentration.
  • Acceptance
    Anger, sadness and symptoms of depression slowly begin to dissipate. The grieving person now comes to accept the reality of the loss.

There is no time limit for the grieving process. Good supports, healthy diet, exercise and sufficient rest all help provide the balance necessary to navigate the process. Be patient with yourself as it is not uncommon to re-experience feelings of grief well after you thought you resolved your feelings.