Grief and Loss

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Grief is a process.

  • What is helpful for one person, may not be helpful for others.
  • Allow yourself and others to acknowledge and express feelings.
  • Maintain a normal schedule.
  • Redefine success and plan ahead.
  • What took you 1 hour before the loss, may now take you much longer.
  • Tears are not a sign of weakness they are a healthy expression of loss.
  • Be patient with yourself and others.
  • Be kind to yourself and others.
  • Pay attention to nutrition, sleep, and physical activity. These things are important.
  • Spend time with others.
  • Ask for help.
  • If you are spiritual, seek out spiritual support.

Typical Responses to Tragedy/Traumatic Loss

  • Shock anddisbelief
  • Emotionallynumbing
  • Sadness
  • Anger andirritability
  • Difficultyconcentrating, problem solving.
  • Guilt
  • Changes ineating, sleeping patterns
  • Intrusivethoughts
  • Low energy
  • Withdrawing from others.
  •  While these are normal reactions, someindividuals may choose to seek counseling as an additional support.

How do I know if Counseling May be Indicated?

  • In situations where the loss is bringing up previous loss, trauma, crisis.
  • Preoccupation of the loss continues.
  • In situations where you are self medicating with drugs, alcohol.
  • Crying more than usual and this crying persists over time.

How to help others

  • Encourage others to express their feelings.
  • Just sit with them.
  • Don't be afraid to ask how they are doing.
  • Acknowledge the pain.
  • Do not minimize grief.
  • Do not try to assure others everything will be okay. It minimizes grief.
  • Do not tell others you know how they feel.
  • If it seems appropriate, offer to go with them to their first counseling appointment.

More information on grief and loss is available from the University of Chicago.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Counseling Center, 117 Humboldt at (716) 880-2339.

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