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Grief and Loss

Please review the following resources for strategies to support individuals you care about with grief and loss.

“What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” Helen Keller

What is grief?

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.

"Grief is like the ocean, it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we have to do is learn to swim." - Vicki Harrison

Coping with the loss of someone or something you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. You may associate grieving with the death of a loved one—which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief—but any loss can cause grief, including:

  1. Divorce or relationship breakup
  2. Loss of health
  3. Losing a job
  4. Loss of financial stability
  5. A miscarriage
  6. Retirement
  7. Death of a pet
  8. Loss of a cherished dream
  9. A loved one’s serious illness
  10. Loss of a friendship
  11. Loss of safety after a trauma
  12. Selling the family home

Even subtle losses in life can trigger a sense of grief. For example, you might grieve after moving away from home, graduating from college, or changing jobs. Whatever your loss, it’s personal to you, so don’t feel ashamed about how you feel, or believe that it’s somehow only appropriate to grieve for certain things. If the person, animal, relationship, or situation was significant to you, it’s normal to grieve the loss you’re experiencing. Whatever the cause of your grief, though, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can ease your sadness and help you come to terms with your loss, find new meaning, and eventually move on with your life.

The grieving process

Grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. There is not a timeline for grief. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and how significant the loss was to you.

 

Some day’s life is about your dreams, hopes and visions for the future.

But there are some days where life is just about putting one foot in front of the other.

And that’s okay.

When to seek professional help for grief

If you’re experiencing symptoms of complicated grief or clinical depression, talk to a mental health professional right away. Left untreated, complicated grief and depression can lead to significant emotional damage, life-threatening health problems, and even suicide. But treatment can help you get better.

Contact a grief counselor or therapist or talk to a trusted adult at your school about finding extra help if:

  1. Feel like life isn’t worth living
  2. Wish you had died with your loved one
  3. Blame yourself for the loss or for failing to prevent it
  4. Feel numb and disconnected from others for more than a few weeks
  5. Are having difficulty trusting others since your loss
  6. Are unable to perform your normal daily activities

 

How to help your teen deal with suicide grief: A handout for parents

Developmental Issues of Grieving Children and How to Help

Do's and don'ts for assisting a grieving student

Talking with a bereaved student

Ways to help a traumatized child/adolescent

Navigating Children's Grief: How to help following a death

Helping others with grief Supporting children after a parent's suicide

Additional resources for individuals struggling with grief and loss

The Sharing Place is a support program offering grief support for children and their parents.

The Bradley Center is a non-profit organization focusing on helping community members with grief and loss.

Caring Connections is run through the University of Utah and offers grief support groups and educational resources for dealing with grief.

Coping with Grief and Loss written by Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Last updated: November 2019. To read the entire article go to https://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief/coping-with-grief-and-loss.htm.

Jordan Family Education Center provides weekly classes. You can also receive FREE counseling services through the Jordan Education Center. For a current class schedule, click this link You can also call the number on the site to schedule an intake appointment or ask about specific classes.

Information on identifying signs of distress as well as suggestions for talking with children and teens about tragedy and loss can be found at this page published by the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI)

"Lifetimes (the beautiful way to explain death to children" is a book by Brian Melloni and Robert Ingpen. A YouTube version of this book can be found at this link