Grief and Loss

By Matt McDonald, LCPC

Everyone experiences grief at some point in their life. It may not be the kind of grief we typically think of with the death of a loved one, but the kind of emotional pain that one feels when something or someone they care about is lost. Feelings that are experienced after the death of a loved one are often considered to be the most intense form of grief, however many losses can cause feelings of grief. Grief may be experienced after any of the following:

The symptoms of grief are not always what you might expect. In fact, grief may look different in each individual. The emotions one faces are often uncomfortable, distressing and sometimes surprising. Some common emotions that one might be feeling after a loss are:

One of the most difficult parts of dealing with grief is not knowing how long the feelings will last. Along with difficult emotions, many people will experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, headaches, muscle pain, and stomach problems. Emotional and physical symptoms may be considered normal during the acute stages of grief; however, some people will experience complicated or unresolved grief. The following are a few of the common symptoms that may indicate unresolved grief. The more symptoms that persist, the stronger the likelihood of unresolved grief.

While no one can tell you how you must grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the difficult emotions associated with grief. It can often be helpful to go to a mental health professional who does grief counseling. A counselor can help navigate the often unpredictable process of grief and loss as well as provide healthy strategies for coping with the loss. Arbor clinicians have a wide range of experience in helping individuals successfully overcome the obstacles of working through these intense emotions. Please call Arbor Counseling Center at (847) 913-0393 for more information or to schedule an appointment.