Anyone can experience grief and loss. It can be sudden or expected; however, individuals are unique in how they experience this event. Grief, itself, is a normal and natural response to loss. There are a variety of ways that individuals respond to loss. Some are healthy coping mechanisms and some may hinder the grieving process. It is important to realize that acknowledging the grief promotes the healing process. Time and support facilitate the grieving process, allowing an opportunity to appropriately mourn the loss.
Common Reactions to Loss
Individuals experiencing grief from a loss may choose a variety of ways of expressing it. No two people will respond to the same loss in the same way. It is important to note that phases of grief exist; however, they do not depict a specific way to respond to loss. Rather, stages of grief reflect a variety of reactions that may surface as an individual makes sense of how this loss affects them. Experiencing and accepting all feelings remains an important part of the healing process.
Denial, Numbness, and Shock
This serves to protect the individual from experiencing the intensity of the loss. Numbness is a normal reaction to an immediate loss and should net be confused with “lack of caring.” Denial and disbelief will diminish as the individual slowly acknowledges the impact of the loss and accompanying feelings.
After recognizing the true extent of the loss, some individuals may experience depressive symptoms. feelings of loneliness, emptiness, isolation, and self-pity can also surface during this phase, contributing to this reactive depression.
Anger may result from feeling abandoned, occurring in cases of loss through death.
Time allows the individual an opportunity to resolve the range of feelings that surface.
There are healthy and unhealthy ways of coping with losses, and our clinicians will guide you through this very difficult process. With empathy, support, and therapeutic strategies, the counselor/ therapist can provide a comfortable environment where you can process your grief and begin to heal. Our experienced psychologists, therapists, and counselors are here for you!