Laker Help Link
Coping with Grief and Loss
What is grief?
Grief is a normal and natural, though often deeply painful, response to loss. Although everyone experiences loss and grief at some time, each individual experiences and expresses grief differently. No matter what the reaction, the grieving person needs the support of others.
Ways to cope with a significant loss:
- Allow time to experience and accept your thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative; try writing in a journal.
- Talk with family, friends, faculty, staff or resident advisors that you feel close to or who have helped you in the past.
- Take care of yourself. Avoid excessive use of alcohol, caffeine, or other stimulants. Get enough sleep and try moderate exercise.
- Try to include activities that you enjoy and slowly move back to a regular routine.
- Avoid making any major life decisions.
How to help a person who has experienced a significant loss:
- Don't let discomfort, fear, or uncertainty stand in the way of staying connected with the person and being a concerned friend.
- Provide practical help. Offer to assist with errands, child care, etc.
- Be available and accept the feelings and words expressed. Avoid being judgmental or telling them how they should feel or what they should do.
- Be a good listener. Allow grievers to tell their stories and express their feelings.
- Give people experiencing loss "permission" to grieve for as much time as needed. Make it clear that there is no sense of "urgency" when you visit or talk.
For more information:
GVSU Counseling & Career Development Center
Page last modified September 14, 2010