© 2019 REACH Employee Assistance, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

No matter what the cause or how prepared you are, the loss or death of someone or something close to you is difficult to overcome. Grief is nature’s way of protecting us against loss. The grief process can begin with the news that someone close to you is seriously ill. For others, however, grieving begins with a sudden unexpected death. Whatever the circumstance, by allowing yourself to grieve you can deal with the loss in a healthy manner and grow stronger in the process. However, each individual’s grieving process is different and people experience a range of emotions at varying times.

 

The stages of grief include:

  1. Shock

  2. Denial

  3. Bargaining

  4. Guilt

  5. Anger

  6. Depression

  7. Acceptance

 

Shock and denial often occurs when the truth is too painful to deal with. Denial can be a healthy form of protection that gives us time to adjust to the reality. At some point the loss must be accepted to begin the healing process. Grieving allows us to experience the pain and begin to work through the loss.

Here are some suggestions to help you deal with the news of a life threatening illness or a death of someone close to you:

  • Expect a range of emotional responses – this is normal.

  • Forgive yourself for what you did or didn’t do.

  • Don’t isolate yourself. Let others share in your grief.

  • Allow yourself to “not be OK”

  • Make healthy eating and exercise a priority.

  • Cry when you need to.

  • Let family and friends know what you need from them.

  • Find spiritual support to deal with the deeper questions of life and death.

  • If suicidal thoughts or evident or if the grief process seems to be too difficult, seek help from friends or professionals – you don’t have to go through it alone.

 

REACH provides free confidential counseling and referral assistance to help with concerns of Loss. To speak to a counselor or set up an appointment call toll free 1-800-273-5273.