Grief and Loss

By: Merry Simonyan, LCSW
Grief is a natural and normal reaction to someone/something passing. Everyone’s journey is
different. Please be aware that not everyone will experience all of these reactions and some
may experience all (and more). Be patient with yourself and your loved one during this time.

Normal Reactions to Death

• Confusion about the circumstances leading to the death
• Trouble with falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
• Change in eating habits (eating more, eating less, or eating more junk foods)
• Crying often or unwilling to cry in front of others
• Decreased interest in or staying away from friends, family, sports, etc.
• Difficulty concentrating and/or forgetting things
• Somatic symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches.
• Impulsive and aggressive behaviors
• Easily agitated, irritated, and annoyed by others
• Desire to be reunited with the deceased or suicidal thoughts
*Suicidal thoughts or talk should be taken seriously and always require professional

Coping Skills for Grief

• Talk with someone you trust
• Exercise, play sports or dance
• Listen to favorite music
• Watch funny movies and TV shows and play video games
• Make a list of personal strengths
• Practice deep breathing: Breath in 5 seconds, release for 10 seconds.
• Take a walk
• Wash your face with cool water
• Paint or draw a picture
• Journal and/or write a story or a poem about your experience and about your loved one.

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