At Furman, we know that everyone at some point will experience a loss: loss of a loved one, loss from divorce, loss of a job, loss from a move away from home, or loss of good health. It is important to know that grief is individually based and different for every person. There is no single way to grieve. There are no rules or a set timeline when a person will address your emotions. Avoiding the grief process only postpones the healing process. Patience is crucial for the process of grief.
Throughout the healing process, there are emotional, physical and behavioral reactions associated with grief. All of these reactions listed below are normal. It is important to give yourself time and patience as these reactions can be triggered at any time:
Many people are aware of the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). In the past, people believed that once a person completed these stages, they would “get over” the grief. Based on new research, we have learned that grief is a process. It is better, therefore, to think of grief as a journey that never ends but changes and diminishes with work over time. We at Furman encourage both an awareness of needs and an action oriented approach to healing.
These are six needs of mourning*:
An action plan should include both ways to cope with the loss and its emotions as well care options through a support system. The following are starting points for your action plan.
Ideas for Coping with Grief
Tips for College Students
– We Get It: Voices of Grieving College Students and Young Adults
By David C. Fajgenbaum and Heather L. Servaty-Seib
– A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss
By Gerald Lawson Sittser
– Gracefully Gone
By Alicia Coppola, Matthew L. Coppola Sr.
– Coffee Talk – Life After Loss
Be patient, don’t expect to just “get over it”
Reach out to family, friends, professors and RA’s., as well as:
Association For Death Education and Counseling
Actively Moving Forward (AMF)- Connecting and Empowering Grieving College Students
Presentation about College Student Grief- Impact and Issues
Open to Hope
Ideas For Coping With Grief
Tips For College Students
Young Adults and Grief
Acknowledging your friend’s loss can help them in their time of need. The support that is given from friends and family is critical for the grieving process*. Here are a few examples of what to say and what not to say to a friend:
*From Eight Critical Questions for Mourners by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD. Copyright 2010
*From Actively Moving Forward (AMF) connecting and empowering grieving college students. Copyright 2017.