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Coping With Grief and Loss

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Grief and Loss

Grief and loss are universal. We all experience grief and loss at some point in our lives. In addition to grief from losing a loved one, students may grieve the loss of a job, relationship, physical ability, financial aid, course credit, or loss of entry into an allied health program. Some people may experience sadness, anger, confusion, shock, depression, lack of motivation, sleeplessness, and difficulty in school due to grief and loss. Grief is a unique journey and healing process for each person.

Definition

Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. You may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight. These are normal reactions to loss—and the more significant the loss, the more intense your grief will be.

There are many effects of grief in different areas of our lives such as physical, emotional, psychological, behavioral and spiritual.

Impact of Grief

  • Emotional - may include: sadness, yearning, fear, anxiety, guilt, numbness, relief
  • Physical - may include: crying, sighing, headaches, nausea, decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, weakness, aches/pains, weak immune system/illness
  • Cognitive - may include: obsessive thinking, disinterest, trouble concentrating, ruminating on “what if” scenarios, replaying images of loss, confusion, lack of motivation, impaired judgment
  • Spiritual - may include: questioning, anger, spiritual awakening, strengthened faith, rejection of beliefs
  • Social - may include: isolation, detachment, relationship issues, family strain