Loss is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process. The reasons for grief are many, such as the loss of a loved one, the loss of health, or the letting go of a long-held dream. Dealing with a significant loss can be one of the most difficult times in a person's life. College students can experience many losses, from the death of a loved one to the loss of a significant relationship. Other losses can occur as students experience change.
- denial, shock, numbness
- emotional release, such as crying
- reactive depression which includes loneliness, isolation, feeling hopeless
- panic, feeling overwhelmed, confused and fearful
- remorse and regret
- physical ailments such as headaches, colds, nausea, and hypertension often increase
Each one of us has our own way of coping with painful experiences. The list below may help you generate ideas about how to manage your feelings of grief.
- Talk to family or friends
- Seek counseling
- Read poetry or books
- Engage in social interactions
- Eat healthy, good foods
- Seek spiritual support
- Take time to relax
- Join a support group
- Listen to music
- Be patient with yourself
- Give yourself permission to feel grief
Take some kind of action - a phone call, a card, a hug, attend the funeral - offer specific help. Be available - allow them to talk without being judgmental. Listen well - avoid telling them what to do or feel or using clichés such as "You have to move on," "it's really the best thing." Be patient - grievers have to talk to heal and many times, it is easy to be impatient. Encourage self -care. Accept your own limitations – link people to professional assistance if needed.