Illustration of a person with grief flowing from their head

Grief has its own timeline, and there is no one way when it comes to one’s experience and emotions after loss, nor is it possible to avoid suffering altogether. In fact, when we try to suppress or deny grief, we are likely to prolong the process.

Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. Some examples of loss include the death of a loved one, the ending of an important relationship, job loss, loss through theft or the loss of independence through disability.

Grieving is an active process, so treat yourself with the same care, tolerance, and affection you would extend to a valued friend in a similar situation.  Below are a few ways to take care of yourself while experiencing grief:

  • Go gently — take whatever time it needs, rather than giving yourself a deadline for when you should be “over it;”;
  • Talk regularly about your grief and your memories with someone you trust;
  • Accept help and support when offered;
  • Be particularly attentive to maintaining healthy eating and sleeping patterns; and
  • Be open to the lessons grieving has to offer; the learning will come with time if we are open.