HealthSheets™


Grief and Loss

Losing someone you care about is painful. Grief is the emotional reaction that follows. It’s a normal process. It has both physical and emotional signs. But even with major life changes, such as the loss of a spouse or parent, you can face the loss and move on.

Senior couple at breakfast table , woman looking sad, man with hand on her shoulder.

Grief takes many forms

Each person will have their own grief process. Grief may or may not occur in predictable stages. Or it may bounce between stages. But over time, grief will slowly lead you to accept the loss. Many people can keep doing normal daily activities even with bouts of grief.  These normal grief reactions are common:

  • Not wanting to believe the loss is real

  • Feeling emotional numbness or shock

  • Feeling annoyed or outright angry

  • Thinking you could have done something to stop the loss

  • Feeling sad or even hopeless

  • Loss of appetite and sleep

  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy

Normal grief often does not need to be treated. You will slowly start feeling more adjusted to your new life. In some cases grief lasts long or is more difficult. This may need treatment with talk therapy. Severe grief reactions to griefmay need treatment. So may depression that's linked to grief. If you are concerned about your grief, talk with your healthcare provider.

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