Grief & Loss
Ways to Cope with Grief
- Talk regularly with a friend.
- Join a group
- Carry or wear a linking object. Carry something in your pocket or purse that reminds you of the one who died - a keepsake they gave you perhaps, or a small object they once carried or used, or a memento you select for just 'this purpose.
- Create a memory book
- Compile photographs which document your loved one's life. Arrange them into some sort of order so they tell a story.
- Recall your dreams.
- Your dreams often have important things to say about your feelings and about your relationship with the one who died.
- Tell people what helps you and what doesn't.
- Plant something living as a memorial.
- Keep a journal.
- Structure alone time.
- You may have your full share of alone time, in which case you'll want to ignore this suggestion. But if you're often among family. friends, and colleagues, make sure you also have time all by yourself . A large part of the grieving process involves what goes on inside yourself-your thoughts, your feelings , your memories, your hopes and dreams.
- Listen to music.
- Do something your loved one would enjoy.
- Screen your entertainment
- Some TV shows and movies are best not viewed when you're deep in grief. The same goes for certain books or articles. If you have any question, do a bit of research before you find yourself in the midst of an experience which brings up too many feelings for you to handle comfortably.
- Allow yourself to laugh.
- Allow yourself to cry.
- Take a day off.
- Give yourself rewards.
- Do something to help someone else.
How to Support Bereaved Persons
- Be empathic.
- Get involved.
- Be an active listener.
- Offer non-verbal support.
Unsupportive Responses to People Coping With Grief
- Fails to include the mourner in decision-making.
- Tries to relate to the bereaved person by discussing non-generalized personal experiences.
- Neglects to consider the individualized nature of the grieving process.
- Inability of the support person to discuss issues of death and loss.
- Forcing the grieving individual to discuss the death or loss.
- Judging the mourner by stating, "Why are you acting this way?"
- Claiming to fully understand by stating, “I know exactly how you feel."
The Counseling Center offers a variety of therapy groups including Living with Loss, which provides a safe, supportive environment for students who have experienced the death of a loved one such as parents, family members, friends, or partners. Learn more on our Groups Offered page.