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Loss, Death and Grief

Introduction

‘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  
http://hopeagain.org.uk/ Cruse's website for young people  
http://uk-sobs.org.uk/- Support for survivors of bereavement by suicide - including regular group meetings in Leamington and Coventry  
http://www.supportaftersuicide.org.uk/help-is-at-hand    
https://www.funeralzone.co.uk/help-resources/bereavement-support    
Bereavement: Key Facts Leaflet from the Royal College of Psychiatrists  
http://www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp/ Leaflet on bereavement  
http://drawingthetimes.com/story/beastlyburden/ 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


Lake

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


Boydell

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


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