Grief and Loss


Grief is a normal experience that is your body’s way of dealing with loss in your life.  When loss is caused by death, grief is expected and accepted.  Other losses in life can also cause a profound grieving process that sometimes is less easily understood.

Losing possessions in a fire or by theft, losing a dear precious pet, loss of innocence and trust through rape or robbery, the end of a relationship, moving, divorce-all of these things can be trigger a painful and difficult response.

Grief is normal but yet unique to each person.  While each of us grieves in our own way, there are certain reactions and feelings that often occur.  Being aware of them may help in the difficult process of recovery from loss.

Those with invisible and visible illnesses experience the same feelings of grief and isolation. Approximately 20 percent of Americans are disabled. Some have congenital disabilities they’ve lived with their whole lives. Others have faced traumatic accidents, diagnoses of chronic conditions. A newly-acquired disability — or the diagnosis of a previously unidentified chronic condition — represents a tremendous life change, one that can be very isolating.
The onset of a visible or invisible illness often brings grief and feelings of isolation. Identity reconstruction is important when people have lost the use of parts of their body or when their illness changes their ability and a shift in perspective about what's possible is required to move forward.


  • When you lose anything that you cared about or that was important in your life, it is normal to grieve.
  • The same intense feelings can occur from the many different losses are experience in our life.  Grieve your loss in your own way and own time. There is no right way to grieve and no set duration.
  • Let others help you. Talk about what you’re going through. Don’t be afraid to show what you’re feeling.  If you don’t talk about what you’re experiencing, it will be difficult for others to understand.
  • “Why” or “Why me” is not important. Deal with what’s happening right now and how to get through it.
  • Expect setbacks. . .and remember it will get better.



You may be puzzled or worried by some of the physical and mental reactions you experience.  Although these reactions can be distressing and cause you discomfort, they are part of a normal stress reaction to a traumatic event.

  • Sleep disturbance or bad dreams
  • Repetitive thinking about the event
  • Being irritable or “jumpy”
  • Loss of concentration
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Take Action
  • Talk with someone you trust
  • Exercise, play sports
  • Listen to favorite music or music that reminds you of the person who dies
  • Find a way to have some fun, laugh, see a funny movie or TV show
  • Make a list of your strengths, things you like about yourself
  • Volunteer (i.e.: animal shelter, hospital, school, etc.)
  • Take a walk at the beach or somewhere in nature
  • Wash your face with cool water
  • Scream into a pillow or into a backpack
  • Paint or draw a picture
  • Journal, write a poem or letter
  • Call OUR HOUSE for grief support
  • Recognize that some things will never make sense
  • It’s O.K. to cry - and it’s O.K not to cry