Skip to main content

Loss, Death and Grief


‘Grief’ describes the human response to when a death or loss is suffered. Grief often involves emotional pain and suffering but is also natural and necessary after a loss. It may be felt immediately, or some time after the loss is experienced.

Everyone experiences grief in a different way, but there may be some common thoughts and feelings:

  •   Shock and disbelief or denial: ‘this can’t be so’

  •   Anger or guilt: ‘this isn’t fair’ ‘if only I had …’

  •   Sadness and depression: ‘I’m so alone’..'I feel low and sad'

  • Confusion: 'I can't makes sense of my thoughts and feelings'


Grief can affect the capacity to function, including:

  •   Disrupted sleep

  •   Changes to appetite

  •   Exhaustion and restlessness

  •   Anxiety and irritability

  •   Disinterest and reduced ability to cope


The most overwhelming feeling can be, simply, the sense of loss and the struggle to adjust to that loss.

Moving Through Loss

Sometimes it is useful to help the mourning process by sharing your experiences with someone else. Expressing your feelings either by talking or perhaps writing or drawing can be therapeutic. Taking care of yourself physically – eating healthily and exercising – is important. Allowing others to nurture you is good. Trusting yourself to go with your feelings – cry if you feel sad, listen to emotive music, look through mementoes – can help to heal. Be easy on yourself.

Occasionally we can get ‘stuck’ in grief and need some support to learn to live with the loss, perhaps with the help of a counsellor.

Medical support and information can be obtained from your GP

Useful resources

At the University of Warwick

For students and staff of the University of Warwick  

Other Resources

The Grief Cycle    
Cruse Bereavement Care National charity providing support and information Cruse's website for young people Support for survivors of bereavement by suicide - including regular group meetings in Leamington and Coventry    
Bereavement: Key Facts Leaflet from the Royal College of Psychiatrists Leaflet on bereavement Comic story on death of family member by suicide  
Available from the University Library:    

Changing Course : Healing From Loss, Abandonment, and Fear

Claudia Black

Living with grief


Death and how to survive it – a unique, practical and uplifting guide to coming to terms with the loss of your partner


Facing Grief: Bereavement and the Young Adult

Susan Wallbank

How to go on Living When Someone you Love Dies

T. Rando
Healing Pain: Attachment, Loss and Grief Therapy

Explores process of grief and how to treat it

Nini Leick, Marianne Davidsen-Nielsen

The Courage to Grieve

Judy Tatelbaum

When Parents Die: Learning to live with the loss of a parent

Black and Adams

The University of Warwick cannot be responsible for the content of other websites