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Dealing With Grief

Grief is a natural response to loss, particularly the loss of a loved one, a relationship, or a notable change in life circumstances. It is a complex and multifaceted emotion that can take various forms, including sadness, anger, guilt, regret, and even relief. While the experience of grief is universal, everyone’s experience is unique and may be influenced by factors such as their cultural background, personality, and coping strategies.

The impact of grief on a person’s health and wellbeing can be significant. Grief can lead to physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and digestive problems, as well as mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (1). It can also impact a person’s ability to function in their daily life, including their work and relationships. Studies have found that individuals who experience complicated grief, which is characterized by intense and prolonged symptoms, may be at a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions (2).

Supporting Others Through Grief

Offering support and guidance to someone who is experiencing profound grief can be challenging, as everyone’s experience is unique. However, there are general strategies and techniques that may be helpful.

  1. Acknowledge their grief: One of the most important things that you can do is to acknowledge the person’s grief and offer your support. Avoid platitudes or minimizing their loss, as this can be dismissive of their experience.
  2. Listen actively: It can be helpful to provide a listening ear for the person to share their thoughts and feelings. This can help them to process their emotions and feel less alone in their experience.
  3. Encourage self-care: Grief can be exhausting both physically and emotionally. Encourage the person to take care of themselves by getting enough rest, eating well, and engaging in activities that bring them joy and comfort.
  4. Provide practical support: Offer practical support such as cooking meals, running errands, or helping with household chores. This can help to ease the burden on the person and allow them time to focus on their grief.
  5. Offer professional support: Encourage the person to seek professional support if they are struggling with their grief. This may include counselling, therapy, or support groups.
  6. Be patient and understanding Grief is a process that takes time, and everyone’s journey is unique. Be patient and understanding with the person and avoid placing timelines or expectations on their healing process.

Coming to Terms with Grief

There are also techniques and strategies that individuals can employ to come to terms with their grief.

  1. Allow yourself to feel: It is important to allow yourself to feel your emotions, even if they are painful. Avoid suppressing or denying your feelings, as this can prolong the grieving process.
  2. Express your emotions: Find healthy ways to express your emotions, such as through journaling, art, or talking to a trusted friend or therapist.
  3. Take care of your physical health: Taking care of your physical health can also help to improve your mental health. Engage in regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and get enough rest. (“[Solved] As a caregiver/ a parent, how would you interact with a …”)
  4. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing can help to reduce stress and improve mental health.
  5. Seek support: Seek out support from family, friends, or a support group. It can be helpful to connect with others who have experienced similar losses.
  6. Consider professional support: If you are struggling with your grief, consider seeking professional support such as counselling or therapy. A mental health professional can provide guidance and support as you navigate your grief.

In conclusion, grief is a natural and complex emotion that can have a significant impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. Supporting someone who is experiencing profound grief can be challenging, but there are strategies and techniques that can be helpful. Encouraging self-care, providing practical support, and being patient and understanding are all important ways to offer support to someone who is grieving. Additionally, there are techniques and strategies that individuals can employ to come to terms with their grief, such as allowing themselves to feel their emotions, expressing their emotions in healthy ways, taking care of their physical health, practicing mindfulness, seeking support from others, and considering professional support.

It is important to note that there is no “right” way to grieve and that everyone’s experience is unique. It is also important to recognize that the grieving process is not linear and can involve setbacks and unexpected emotions. However, with time, support, and healthy coping strategies, it is possible to move forward and find a sense of peace and acceptance.

Twenty positive affirmations that could help someone dealing with profound grief:

  1. I am allowed to feel my emotions and to grieve in my own way.
  2. I am strong enough to get through this challenging time.
  3. I trust that healing and acceptance are possible in time.
  4. I am surrounded by love and support from those who care about me.
  5. I am grateful for the time I had with my loved one, and I hold their memory close to my heart.
  6. I find joy and happiness again, even amid grief.
  7. I honor my feelings and allow myself to express them in healthy ways.
  8. I am taking care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual health during this challenging time.
  9. I am worthy of love and compassion, both from myself and from others.
  10. I release any guilt or regret and choose to focus on the positive memories and experiences.
  11. I am open to new experiences and opportunities, even as I navigate through grief.
  12. I am resilient and have the strength to bounce back from this difficult experience.
  13. I am learning and growing through this process of grief and loss.
  14. I have a purpose and a path in life, even in the face of loss.
  15. I am not alone in my grief and can seek comfort and support from others.
  16. I choose to focus on the present moment and find peace and gratitude in the little things.
  17. I am creating a new normal for myself and finding meaning in life after loss.
  18. I am learning to accept and adapt to change, even when it is difficult.
  19. I trust that time will help me heal and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  20. I am worthy of self-care and self-compassion during this challenging time.

These affirmations can be repeated daily, either silently or aloud, to help someone coping with grief to stay positive and focused on healing and moving forward.


  1. American Psychological Association. Grief: Coping with the loss of your loved one. https://www.apa.org/topics/grief. Accessed April 11, 2023.
  2. Simon NM. Treating complicated grief. JAMA. 2013;310(4):416-423. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8698.
  3. Stroebe M, Schut H, Boerner K. Cautioning health-care professionals: bereaved persons are misguided through the stages of grief. Omega (Westport). 2017;75(3):267-282. doi:10.1177/0030222816662829.
  4. Shear MK. Grief and mourning gone awry: pathway and course of complicated grief. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2012;14(2):119-128.
  5. Neimeyer RA, Baldwin SA, Gillies J, et al. American Psychological Association. Group interventions for individuals with complicated grief: a randomized controlled trial. Prof Psychol Res Pr. 2017;48(2):87-98. doi:10.1037/pro0000116.
  6. Lundorff M, Holmgren H, Zachariae R, Farver-Vestergaard I, O’Connor M. Prevalence of prolonged grief disorder in adult bereavement: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affect Disord. 2017;212:138-149. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.01.030.
  7. Shear K, Shair H. Attachment, loss, and complicated grief. Dev Psychobiol. 2005;47(3):253-267. doi:10.1002/dev.20098.
  8. Pyszczynski T, Greenberg J, Solomon S. A dual-process model of defense against conscious and unconscious death-related thoughts: an extension of terror management theory. Psychol Rev. 1999;106(4):835-845. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.106.4.835.
  9. Hallam R, Petrie KJ, Boughton BJ. Psychological responses to melanoma. Psychooncology. 1995;4(1):35-46. doi:10.1002/pon.2960040106.
  10. Bonanno GA, Wortman CB, Lehman DR, et al. Resilience to loss and chronic grief: a prospective study from preloss to 18-months postloss. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002;83(5):1150-1164. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.83.5.1150.

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