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Loss, Death and Grief

Introduction

‘Grief’ describes the human response to when a death or loss is suffered. Grief often involves emotional pain and suffering but is also natural and necessary after a loss. It may be felt immediately, or some time after the loss is experienced.

Everyone experiences grief in a different way, but there may be some common thoughts and feelings:

  •   Shock and disbelief or denial: ‘this can’t be so’

  •   Anger or guilt: ‘this isn’t fair’ ‘if only I had …’

  •   Sadness and depression: ‘I’m so alone’..'I feel low and sad'

  • Confusion: 'I can't makes sense of my thoughts and feelings'

 

Grief can affect the capacity to function, including:

  •   Disrupted sleep

  •   Changes to appetite

  •   Exhaustion and restlessness

  •   Anxiety and irritability

  •   Disinterest and reduced ability to cope

 

The most overwhelming feeling can be, simply, the sense of loss and the struggle to adjust to that loss.

Moving Through Loss

Sometimes it is useful to help the mourning process by sharing your experiences with someone else. Expressing your feelings either by talking or perhaps writing or drawing can be therapeutic. Taking care of yourself physically – eating healthily and exercising – is important. Allowing others to nurture you is good. Trusting yourself to go with your feelings – cry if you feel sad, listen to emotive music, look through mementoes – can help to heal. Be easy on yourself.

Occasionally we can get ‘stuck’ in grief and need some support to learn to live with the loss, perhaps with the help of a counsellor.

Getting Support

The University Counselling Service is available for students and staff of the University of Warwick. http://www.warwick.ac.uk/counselling

Look at the grief cycle

Medical support and information can be obtained from your GP

‘Cruse’ bereavement care organisation

http://www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk/

'Hope again' Cruse website for young people who are facing grief: http://hopeagain.org.uk/

http://uk-sobs.org.uk/- support for survivors of bereavement by suicide - including regular group meetings in Leamington and Coventry 

Support after suicide: http://www.supportaftersuicide.org.uk/help-is-at-hand

For more information on bereavement:

https://www.funeralzone.co.uk/help-resources/bereavement-support

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/expertadvice/problems/bereavement/bereavementkeyfacts.aspx

Self-help references

Leaflet on bereavement http://www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp/

Comic story on death of family member by suicide:

http://drawingthetimes.com/story/beastlyburden/

The following references are available from the University Library either in hard copy, CD or ebooks. Most are readily available to buy either in bookshops or over the internet. There are also a limited number of books in the Learning Grid and the Bio-med Grid.

Changing Course : Healing From Loss, Abandonment, and Fear

Claudia Black

Ebook

Living with grief

Lake

Sheldon press

Death and how to survive it – a unique, practical and uplifting guide to coming to terms with the loss of your partner

Boydell

Vermilion

Facing Grief: Bereavement and the Young Adult

Susan Wallbank

Lutterworth

How to go on Living When Someone you Love Dies

T. Rando

Bantom

The Courage to Grieve

Judy Tatelbaum

Vermilion

When Parents Die: Learning to live with the loss of a parent

Black and Adams

Routledge

For a comprehensive list of other references please visit http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/counselling/self_helpbooklet_march_final.pdf for Self Help Information by subject and categories




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