Coping with Grief

The death of a loved one can be a difficult time. Grief is the reaction and expression of loss, and everyone grieves differently, depending on life factors. We hope this information, along with the Featured Links to the left, can help you understand the grieving process and guide you through this difficult journey.


  • Is a natural and normal reaction to loss that is needed in order to heal
  • Can follow many kinds of loss: death of a loved one, divorce, miscarriage, serious illness or death of a pet
  • Can bring a wide range of emotions
  • Can help in finding ways to cope with pain

Normal Reactions to Loss

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Anger or resentment
  • Guilt
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Deep sadness or depression
  • Physical problems
  • Hope and personal growth

Steps to Healing

  • Let yourself grieve in your own way.
  • Allow and express any feelings or thoughts about your loss if you can; there is no right or wrong way to do this.
  • Reach out to those you trust for support.
  • Many times people don't know how to help, so tell them what you need.
  • Rituals (ceremonies, symbolic acts) can help you develop a healthy acceptance of your loss.
  • Put any regrets into perspective. Think about the good you did for this person.
  • Keep memories alive.
  • Look to your faith.
  • Wait a while on making major changes/decisions (moving, remarrying or changing jobs).
  • Allow time for adjustment.
  • Consider joining a support group, if needed.
  • Take care of yourself: eat healthy, get rest and engage in healthy activities.
  • Think about helping others in a way that may be meaningful to the deceased.
  • Allow yourself to move on, laugh and do something you enjoy.

Holidays and other special occasions can be especially hard after you have experienced loss. With planning, you can make these times less upsetting and give them new meaning. It's normal to grieve during holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and changes in season. Talk with your family and others about how you all can observe the moment in a way that best meets everyone's needs and wishes. Do something special to remember your loved one.

"Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!" Psalm 31:24