What are some ways to deal with grief?

The grief experienced following death can be deep, very painful and can often feel unending. But grief is also a process that can lead to healing, solace and reprieve from the pain.

One tool for dealing with grief is through “the five stages of grief” developed by Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her book "On Death and Dying." Kübler-Ross describes the stages as “tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling.” Many people find that having a framework for understanding grief is helpful.

While using the framework of the “five stages” may be helpful for some, it may not be helpful for others, and there are plenty of other resources available to those experiencing grief or looking to support someone who is grieving.
The National Mental Health Association offers the following guidelines for living with grief:
  • Seek out caring people. Friends, relatives, and people in support groups may understand your feelings.
  • Express your feelings. Talk. It will help you through the grieving process.
  • Take care of your health. Eat right and stay well rested. Do not self-medicate by drinking alcohol or taking medication.
  • Accept that life is for the living. It will take effort to move beyond the past.
  • Postpone major life changes. Try not to make any significant life changes (e.g., moving, remarrying, having another child) until you have adjusted.
  • Be patient. It may take months to years to accept the loss.
  • Seek outside help when necessary. The best thing that you can do for yourself when your grief is severe is to seek professional help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.