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Coping with Illness, Loss, and Grief

Grief is a normal response to any loss, whether you lose an opportunity, a loved one, or even the narrative of your healthy life.

Components of Grief

Most grief experiences have several distinct components to them.  Though often called "stages," these components may happen at the same time or out-of-order.



You may not realize you were in denial until after you move beyond it.  When in denial, we may behave as though nothing is wrong, or we may feel numb.



Bargaining goes along with denial.  When in denial we humans disconnect from reality.  When bargaining, we try to negotiate a change in reality.  We may fantasize about going back and making a change that would avoid the loss we're facing.



It is normal to feel angry about what you are going through.  It feels terrible and unfair.  You may blame yourself or someone else.  You may even blame God.  



Depression is the pain and sadness you may feel about your loss.  This feeling can be intense, even overwhelming.  See below for resources.



Because our emotional state is fluid, acceptance might not feel permanent when you first experience it.  However, with time, you will spend more and more time in the more easeful space of acceptance.

Find Resources

Praying Together


Our friends, family, neighbors, churches, gym classes, volunteer groups, and other communities give us a place to share our vulnerability and connect.  Connection is essential to healing.  What community is calling to you?


Professional Mental Health Services

It's normal to need a guide to navigate difficult terrain.  Ask for a referral to a mental health professional if you are interested.



According to the University of Rochester, Journaling can help three main ways:

Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by:

  • Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns

  • Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them

  • Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors

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