Grief and Loss

Grief & Loss

Grief is a normal response after experiencing the loss of a loved one.

Grief and loss can be experienced for a number of reasons: death of a loved one, incarceration of a loved one, abandonment, etc.

There are typically 5 stages that an individual might experience during a period of grieving:

1. Denial - "This can't be happening."

In this stage, individuals may refuse to accept the loss has occurred.

2. Anger - "Why is this happening to me?"

When an individual experiences a loss, he/she may become angry at themselves or others. They may argue the situation is unfair.

3. Bargaining - "I will do anything to change this situation"

In bargaining, the individual may try to change their loss. For example, they may try to search for unlikely cures in the case of a terminal illness.

4. Depression - "What is the point of going on after this loss?"

At this stage, the individual has come to recognize that loss has occurred. They may isolate themselves and spend time crying/grieving.

5. Acceptance - "It's going to be okay."

Finally the individual will come to accept the less. They understand the situation and have come to terms emotionally with the situation. This stage does not mean that the loved one is forgotten, but that the individual has now been able to properly grieve.

Every person experiences grief and loss differently. These stages may not be experienced in any particular order, and you may or may not experience all five.

Grief symptoms also may be experienced different based on a persons age.Here are some common symptoms that a teenager might face:

Having difficulty concentrating

Becoming more active or restless

Becoming upset easily

Becoming afraid of loud noises

Having guilty feelings

Refusing to go to school

Experiencing headaches/nausea

Difficulty sleeping

Having nightmares, etc.

If you are experiencing symptoms that you feel are associated to grief and loss and are difficult to manage on your own, please see your counselor or a member of the CHS Wellness Team for help.

Additional Resources

Pathways Hospice - CHANGES Family Program (562) 531-3031

  • Free Family Grief Counseling utilizing art, games, talking, storytelling, and activities that lasts for 7 weeks. New groups are held in January, April, and October every year and are on Tuesdays at 6:45.