CT Clearinghouse

Grief / Loss

What is grief?

Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion, and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a natural part of life. Grief is a typical reaction to death, divorce, job loss, a move away from family and friends, or loss of good health due to illness.

How does grief feel?

People may experience complex emotions like feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, guilt, anger or sadness, numbness, or confusion.  Changes in your appetite, mood, energy level, or sleep patterns are also common.
Guilt is often expressed as "I could have, I should have, and I wish I would have" statements.

How long does grief last?

The length of time spent grieving is different for each person. There are many reasons for the differences, including personality, health, coping style, culture, family background, and life experiences. The time spent grieving also depends on your relationship with the person lost and how prepared you were for the loss.

Prolonged Grief, described as pervasive and intense grief that disrupts daily life, affects 10-20% of bereaved people. Treatment is available for people experiencing prolonged grief. 

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