Online Grief Counselor: Counseling and Therapy for grief and loss

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Online Grief Counselor:

Counseling and Therapy for Grief and Loss

A couple who needs grief counseling.

A trained counselor or therapist can offer you therapeutic support to help you through your grief.

When a loved one dies, the grieving process can be intense and overwhelming. Nothing seems to be helping. Real grief is nothing like the media portrays it in movies and television. It's not something you chat about with a friend, and suddenly everything is better. It takes much more than a few simple chats to get through the grief process. Grieving requires a special kind of support. It often requires the services of a licensed mental health professional. A trained counselor or therapist can support you differently than peers, family or friends.

Online grief counseling or telemental health can help you cope with your devastating loss. Even though grief is a natural response to a significant loss, it can be tough to get through it without support. Online grief counselors support people as they process thoughts and feelings and come to a place of peace. Grief counseling support is a specialized type of therapy designed to help you cope with your loss. It can be highly beneficial when you're struggling to cope with the death of a loved one. Grief support aims to help you understand your thoughts and emotions and live a fulfilling life.

Online grief counseling makes it easier to access support and get the professional services you need. You don't have to leave your home to meet with a therapist in a virtual video meeting. You can benefit by connecting with a qualified mental health professional with just one click. All you need is a good internet connection and a reliable device for online grief support. You can also access grief counseling by phone.

Online grief therapy is convenient and confidential. It has also been proven to be just as effective as meeting with a therapist or counselor in person. The added confidentiality from meeting online makes professional counseling and psychotherapy a viable option if you're worried about stigma.

When you join meetings online, nobody will see you coming or going from sessions or accidentally bump into you in your therapist's waiting room. You can connect with your therapist without leaving the house with internet access. Online counseling will protect your anonymity.

Many clients prefer the anonymity of working with a therapist or counselor who lives outside their community. It can be easier to be open and honest without fear of judgment or gossip. A counselor or therapist located away from your home or workplace can add an extra layer of distance and impartiality to the therapeutic counseling relationship. There is no chance of seeing your therapist in public, in a social situation, or finding out that someone you know also knows your therapist. Online grief counseling may be a good way for you to get support from a trained psychotherapist.

Your online grief counselor or therapist will create a safe virtual environment to support and guide you through your feelings. Your online video therapy session will provide you with an extra layer of privacy. You have more control with online counseling.

You choose where your counseling session takes place. Anywhere you are comfortable and have privacy is acceptable. It is easier to fit counseling into your busy schedule when you meet online. Grief is a delicate subject, and you need to feel comfortable to get the most out of your counseling session.

A pine forest with sun shining through.

How is online grief counseling different from face-to-face grief counseling?

The short answer is, not much. Studies have shown the outcomes for both are the same. One does not offer a therapeutic benefit over the other. Both are considered live, real-time counseling sessions. The most significant difference is that in online counseling, services are virtual using video technology. Traditional in-person counseling requires you to travel to a counseling office to receive psychotherapy services.

What is it like to do online grief counseling?

When talking to friends and family isn't enough, seeking help from a professional therapist or counselor could be your best option. If you're struggling with intense emotions such as sadness, anger, and guilt, a counselor or therapist can offer support and help you sort things through. If you've never experienced counseling or therapy, it may be a bit strange at first talking to someone you don't know about something so personal. However, many people find it freeing to talk to someone who has no reason to manipulate them or try to convince them they're wrong. You don't have to be so careful to choose your words for fear of being misunderstood. Talking to a counselor or therapist is very welcoming and non-judgemental.

Online grief counseling is very similar to traditional in-person counseling. The main difference is that your meetings take place over the internet, usually through video conferencing software. Online therapy is a convenient option if you live far away from a counselor or have difficulty getting to appointments due to work or childcare commitments. Another benefit of online grief counseling is that it allows you to connect with a counselor from anywhere in the state for a wider selection.

What is online counseling?

Counseling is a process that helps people deal with their problems. You can choose to do it in person or online. It really doesn't matter if your therapist or counselor is in the same room with you or not. The services remain the same. You communicate with your therapist in the same way in both situations. The discussion will be the same in a virtual environment as in-person. Many clients find the virtual option saves them time, gas money, and the frustration of dealing with traffic and parking. Your online counselor can meet your needs and help you find ways to cope that fit with who you are.

What is online grief counseling?

There is no single right way to cope with grief. It can be difficult to get through it alone. You can't just program your recovery, flip a switch and be finished. Grieving is a process. Resources and support are necessary to make progress. Online counseling is known for helping people through difficult times. Working with a trained therapist or counselor can help you progress through your grief process.

You can find comfort and healing with an online therapist to help you through. You can work through your feelings of sadness, anger, and confusion in a safe, supportive, and private environment. The therapeutic discussion will only cover subjects in your comfort zone unless you explicitly ask to go somewhere deeper. Your counselor or therapist will never push you beyond your comfort zone. They will go at your pace. Grief can be complicated and requires time to come to a comfortable place.

Grief can manifest itself in many ways, including physical symptoms like nausea, headaches, and sleeplessness, or emotional symptoms like sadness, depression, and anxiety. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Working with a trained mental health professional during your counseling sessions can help you find the right way for you to process your grief and loss.

Grief therapy is not about "moving on with your life "or getting over it." Counseling and therapy are about learning to be you and live your life without your loved one physically present. Your recovery is about finding peace and comfort and how you want to live and remember the person you lost. You can honor them and have your thoughts and feelings. Therapy can help you deal with your difficult emotions in a healthy way and find your way back to your life.

Grief is a unique experience.

Everyone experiences grief at some point. It is a natural response to loss. Grief is the emotional pain we feel when we lose someone or something important to us. Some people experience grief more intensely than others. Everyone has their own personal path to recovery.

There are no rules to follow. We all go through grief and loss at different times in our lives. Experiences of loss tend to become more common as we get older. Coping with loss never seems to get easier, no matter how many times you experience it.

Every grief experience is different. It is impossible to say how anyone will experience grief. Your life is unique, as is the relationship you have with the person who has died. Suffering from grief can not be put into a tidy package with a bow on top. Your experience will be as unique as you are. You might notice that your friends and family are grieving differently than you. Your counseling sessions will address your personal concerns and worries to put your mind at ease. You need your own personalized way of grieving.

What may work for someone else may be completely ineffective for you. Never let anyone tell you how you should grieve. Bereavement counseling will consider what you are experiencing and address your unique needs. Your therapy process will change as you go through your different stages of grief. Through counseling, you will formulate a specialized approach that works for you.

Black woman grieving alone.

Grief counseling can support you and help you feel less alone.

Experiencing loss

Death is perhaps the most profound type of loss. It is a physical and emotional separation that can leave a gaping hole in your life. Grieving for a lost loved one can be an emotional process that involves the entire family. The bereaved may experience depression, fear, and anxiety. Each family member can have a different grief response. Family grief counseling can help everyone grieve together, accept their differences, and create a healthy support network.

Grief can take many different forms, depending on you and your relationship with the person who has died. Some people feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, while others may feel numb or disconnected from their emotions. Some people withdraw from friends and family, while others become more outgoing. Some people want to talk about their loss constantly, while others may go to the other extreme and never mention the deceased again. There is a broad spectrum of reactions to loss.

Common symptoms of grief include sadness, anger, loneliness, fear, guilt, confusion, organization problems, distancing, and disbelief. It is normal for these symptoms to come and go over time, but if they persist for more than six months, it may indicate prolonged grief or clinical depression. Grief can also have a physical effect on your body. It can cause fatigue, headaches, cognitive issues, lack of motivation, and changes in appetite.

Grief can be very isolating. Experiencing the loss of someone you love can really shake up your life. You may feel like you're the only one hurting this much. You might feel like nothing is helping.

 Know that you are not alone in your grief. Some people do understand. Many others are going through their grief process, and many more have experienced grief and have some understanding of what you're feeling.

Grief is an integral part of the healing process. It can help you learn about yourself as you move through this difficult time. You can rebuild or shift your concept of who you are and who you want to be. Your experience of grief does not have to be always negative or painful. Grief ebbs and flows as you move through it.

There may be times that your grief will fade to the background just enough for you to manage to smile for a moment. Fading grief is normal. It might happen more and more for you as you process your grief. For some, the grieving process is gradual, while others can experience a sudden shift one day.

How you lost your loved one and their age can impact your grief process. Sudden loss from an accident or suicide can bring up different thoughts and feelings than losing someone slowly to an illness like cancer. The loss of a child or infant is unique and devastating. The loss of a parent can shake your foundation. Losing an older adult is another different grief experience.

Types of Loss

Daughter comforting her mother after the death of her father.

Online grief counseling can help you some peace after the death of a spouse or partner.

Losing a spouse or partner

No one can ever prepare you for the day that you lose your spouse or partner. The pain and emptiness you feel can be unlike anything you have ever experienced. The first few weeks and months may seem like a blur trying to cope with the overwhelming grief. There are no words to describe the hole left in your heart when the person you chose to spend your life with dies.

You feel like a part of you has died along with them. Life feels meaningless without them. Eventually, you learn to cope with your loss and begin to rebuild your life. There is no proper timetable and no right or wrong way to do this- it is different for everyone. You will never stop missing them, but you can learn to live again. Waves of grief can come anytime. Therapy can help you find suitable ways of coping and riding the waves.

A man is crying and suffering from the sudden loss of a loved one.

Grief counseling can support you through the traumatic shock of sudden loss.

Sudden loss from an accident

When a sudden and unexpected death occurs, it can be challenging to cope with the reality of the situation. It's traumatic and shocking. Your grief can be overwhelming, and it is often hard to know where to turn for help. You may find yourself angry and questioning why. It can be hard to believe it really happened.

Couple grieving suicide loss.

Grief therapy can support you through the complicated thoughts and feelings of sudden suicide loss.

Losing a loved one by suicide

Suicide is the 13th leading cause of death in the United States. About one in every four deaths in the U.S. is from suicide. Suicide rates have been increasing for several years, and experts are unsure why this is happening. There are many potential reasons, but some believe that there may be a link between suicide and mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Losing a loved one by suicide is horrible and brings up a mixed bag of thoughts and feelings. You may be angry they choose to leave you. You could blame yourself for not knowing or not being there to stop them. So many thoughts go round and round in your head, combing through every situation and conversation, looking for clues you missed. You didn't miss anything. People who choose suicide will find a way no matter what you do or say. Knowing this doesn't make losing them any easier, but it isn't your fault.

Man resting in hospital bed alone.

Grief counseling can support you through the process of losing a loved one to a chronic illness, degenerative disease, or cancer.

Losing a loved one to chronic illness, degenerative diseases, or cancer 

When someone you love is diagnosed with a chronic illness, degenerative disease, or cancer, it feels like your world has been turned upside down. A terminal illness makes it hard to come to grips with the reality that they are slowly slipping away. You are suddenly faced with the reality your loved one may not be around for much longer. Watching them suffer and knowing that you can do nothing to stop it is another kind of loss. It is a time of great sadness and heartache as you say goodbye to the person you love.

You worry about them constantly and wonder how you'll cope when they are gone. It is an incredibly difficult time, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. You may find comfort in talking about what you're going through. Bereavement is a personal thing. It's a difficult time, so don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Man comforting partner after miscarriage.

Online grief therapy or counseling can help you heal the heartbreak of miscarriage and pregnancy loss.

Miscarriage and Pregnancy loss

Heartbreak. It's a word that can describe so many things, but it's the first word that comes to mind when it comes to pregnancy loss. If you have experienced it, you know the pain is unlike anything else. You want to be free from the pain, but it catches you by the heartstrings and leaves you wondering how you'll ever cope with such a devastating loss. You want to be looking forward to holding an infant again. You are grieving a lifetime of love and connection, not just a single point in time.

It can be difficult to grieve when those around you don't understand the depth of your loss. You need space to process away from people saying things like, "you can always try again" or "there's time to keep trying. You'll have the baby you want." These things are hard to hear when you're experiencing intense grief. It's not a helpful message. Your experiences are valid. Even a loss early in pregnancy can be devastating. You may experience:

• Great sadness and heavy grief

• Shock

• Guilt

• Blaming yourself

• Exhaustion

• Lack of motivation

• Difficulty sleeping

• Physical pain

• Health concerns

• Emotional distress

• Difficulty coping

• Depression

• Anxiety

• Difficulty being around babies, children, or someone who's pregnant

• Persistent thoughts of your due date

• Feeling pressured to "try again" before you're ready

Miscarriage is a common complication of early pregnancy, occurring in about 15-20% of recognized pregnancies. Many women who miscarry experience no symptoms or warning signs. If you have experienced a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, know that you are not alone in your grief. Professional help is available. Online counseling can provide you support with a qualified therapist who understands the depth of your pain.

Couple sitting on a dock grieving the loss of their child.

Grief therapy can help you process the difficult grief from the loss of a child.

Losing a child

The pain of losing a child is indescribable. It feels like a physical and emotional wound that never heals. It can be challenging to do anything. Life just stops. You never know when you will have grief attacks. Sometimes they happen daily. Time does not seem to make it any easier. Friends offer support, but they often don't know what to say. Support from family, friends, and co-workers can only go so far before they start thinking you should be better than you are by now. They might be sending the message that it's time to be getting on with life before you're ready. Grief has its own timetable. It doesn't wait for a suitable time.

Grief comes in waves and at unexpected moments. There are a variety of triggers that can bring it on. You can take a break to process or grieve anytime. There is no right or wrong way to mourn the death of your child. You may need to talk about your child a lot sometimes and not feel like sharing at all at other times. It's crucial to find a way to mourn that works for you. Working with a grief counselor can help you find what feels right to you.

Man comforting his wife after the loss of a parent.

Online grief therapy can help you heal the emptiness and come to terms with the death of a parent.

The grief of losing a parent

When a parent dies, the grief can be overwhelming. The death of a parent can leave you feeling lost and alone. You may experience physical and emotional symptoms that are difficult to manage. Sadness, anger, anxiety, and depression are common after the death of a parent. It's difficult to participate in daily events. Let yourself grieve in your own way and at your own pace. It can take a while to feel free to do things you enjoy. It takes time to find a place where you feel like yourself again.

A family on the couch grieving the loss of an elderly loved one.

Family grief counseling can help you find peace and closure after the loss of an elderly loved one.

Losing an elderly loved one 

When your loved one begins to age, the thought of losing them becomes a reality your family faces. Even when you know it's coming, it's never an easy process. Each person in your family will cope in their own way. Some may have an incredibly difficult time coming to terms with their loved one no longer being with them. Other family members may see things differently and be at peace. You may have feelings of guilt, sadness, and emptiness that accompany the death of a senior. It is common to feel guilty for not visiting or calling more often. There may be things that you didn't have a chance to say. Finding peace can take time.

Types of Grief

Prolonged Grief Disorder

The 2022 revised version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR) includes the new Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) diagnosis. The condition occurs when people have difficulty returning to their life after losing a loved one. A mental health professional can diagnose prolonged grief disorder if debilitating symptoms of the same level of intensity continue longer than a year. Symptoms include intrusive thoughts about the deceased, yearning or preoccupation with their loved one, avoiding reminders of the person they lost, and excessive sadness or guilt.

Experiencing separation distress to the extent that it interferes with daily life and responsibilities for most days of the month preceding the diagnosis is a qualifying factor. Other possible symptoms include: 

• Identity issues

• Disbelief that their loved one is gone

• Confusion

• Intense emotional pain

• Difficulty interacting and engaging with others

• Difficulty participating in life

• Feeling emotionally numb

• Feeling life has no meaning

 • Intense loneliness. 

Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other family events can be particularly difficult.

Exaggerated Grief 

When a loved one dies, the natural reaction is grief. However, sometimes people experience grief to the extent that is far beyond what would be considered normal. This experience is known as exaggerated grief, and it can be very difficult for friends and family members to understand.

If you feel intensely overwhelming grief reactions that worsen with time, you are probably experiencing exaggerated grief. Symptoms may include:

• Excessive grief reactions

• Nightmares

• New and abnormal fears

• Feeling worthless

• Self-destructive behaviors

• Suicidal thoughts

• Substance abuse

Mental health issues, including major psychiatric disorders

Complicated grief 

Complicated grief (CG) is a serious, long-term condition that can arise due to a significant loss. CG can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or culture. CG can interfere with daily life and cause great suffering. CG has been recognized as a mental health disorder by the American Psychiatric Association and is in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Criteria for complicated grief include frequent and persistent thoughts about the deceased, including:

• Replaying the last conversation with your loved one.

• Being overwhelmed by memories of the deceased.

• Feeling an intense sense of loneliness and yearning for their presence.

• Having nightmares about the deceased.

Anticipatory grief

Most people think of grief as a reaction to a death, but another kind of grief can occur before a loved one dies. This type of grief is called anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is a feeling of sadness and loss that you experience when you know that someone you love will die. It can be very intense and can last for a long time. Some people feel like they are mourning even though the person they love is still alive. It is not unusual for people who are dying to feel anticipatory grief. Being sad about something that has yet to happen is normal.

The difference between anticipatory and normal grief is that sometimes it can make you feel like someone you love is dead or will die. Dying is not the same as being dead. There is still time left. It can be challenging to use that time the way you want to with the end present in your mind. Watching someone slip away from a terminal illness or very old age is different and can present unique circumstances to process and priorities to make. Common anticipatory grief reactions include:

• Sadness and guilt.

• Anger and frustration.

• Disappointment (Maybe you were hoping for a different outcome, or you feel that your loved one doesn't have the chance to do what they want to do before it's time to say goodbye).

• Difficulty making plans.

• Trouble staying in the present moment.

• Fear of what will come

• Difficulty enjoying the time they have left.

Traumatic grief 

When you hear about a death in the family, your first reaction is usually shock. You can't believe that this is happening to you. As the news sinks in, you may feel like you are in a fog, and everything is happening in slow motion. You may not be able to eat or sleep, and you may feel like you are going crazy. These are normal reactions to a traumatic event.

Traumatic grief is a unique kind of grief caused by any type of traumatic loss, not just death. It has intense and prolonged symptoms that can make it difficult to function day-to-day. Some common symptoms of traumatic grief include intrusive thoughts and memories about a person who died, ruminating about your loss, devastation, extreme sadness and loneliness, difficulty sleeping or eating, avoiding social situations, feelings of guilt or blame, and changes in mood or behavior.

Traumatic grief can be very debilitating and interfere with daily activities such as work or school. It can also interfere with relationships and social life. After a sudden or traumatic loss, grieving can make it challenging to practice basic self-care. It can be difficult to hold on to hope. Symptoms of traumatic grief are similar to those of other types of grief, but they can be more intense and prolonged.

Disenfranchised grief 

Grieving is often seen as a time-limited experience with an expected beginning and end. However, for many people, grief does not follow this neat timeline. For example, those who have lost a loved one to suicide may feel disenfranchised from the traditional grieving process. Their loss is often not recognized or acknowledged by society at large. Being dismissed can lead to feelings of isolation and alienation.

If you are mourning the loss of your pet, people might treat you as if you're over-exaggerating your feelings because you didn't lose a person. Even if others aren't openly judging your feelings, you may feel misunderstood.

Another example of disenfranchised grief is mourning the death of someone you didn't know personally. Disenfranchised grief has become more common with the Black Lives Matter Movement. When a Black person dies because of racism and discrimination, it can be devastating to people across the nation who have never met them.

Witnessing police violence and the family's grief in the media can cause a grief response. Friends and family members may not see your grief as a legitimate response to the news. Others around you may not understand your grief if they are racially biased, under-educated, believe in stereotypes, or are blaming the victim for putting themself in a situation that caused their death. Whole communities can experience disenfranchised grief. It is common in marginalized populations.

Disenfranchised grief can have an impact on daily life. It can disrupt the natural flow of your day. It may be challenging to do simple things like checking and responding to an email. You can experience several different emotions that can cause you to stop what you're doing and think about the incident. You may also have difficulty focusing, paying attention, and remembering details.

Grief is an all-encompassing experience. You may experience feelings of guilt, sadness, despair, and anger. It is also possible to have physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, and difficulty sleeping. You may also have behavioral symptoms like changes in appetite and isolation. Grief symptoms can become magnified when you don't get the support you need from family, friends, and your community. Grief counseling can help you sort out your feelings and decide if you want to take any action.

Cumulative Grief

When a person experiences a series of traumatic events, the result can be cumulative grief. It can be complicated to cope with and challenging to manage. The events leading to cumulative grief may not seem connected, but they are often linked somehow. When awful things happen in succession, your trauma response multiplies. Several losses piled on top of each other can really overwhelm you. Your life might start to feel like a train wreck.

All the pain and overwhelm of multiple losses can lead to depression. The pain of losing a loved one can be too much to handle. The pain of losing two loved ones is almost unbearable. If you add on other types of losses like losing a friendship, a job, your car, or a valued memento, you could feel like you've come to your breaking point. When too many losses happen too fast, you don't have time to recover from one before the next one presents itself. It's common to feel like you can't go on.

Grief and depression can both be very isolating emotions, and it's easy to feel like you're the only one going through this. Grieving multiple losses at a time is a complicated and heavy burden. If you are dealing with cumulative grief, find a therapist or counselor to provide the professional support you need to get through this tough time.

Delayed Grief

When someone dies, we hear from so many people to "move on" and "don't dwell on the past." They unreasonably expect you to be happy and get on with your life without enough time to grieve. Delayed grief can result from being raised in an environment that discourages grieving. You can delay the grieving process yourself if you aren't comfortable or don't want to face the situation. Denial can trick your brain into believing the loss is not real.

No matter the reason, unresolved grief can come up later when you push through. Another tragic event or significant loss often brings on delayed grief. Some possible triggers are another death, divorce, or loss of a pet.

It is common to push through to take care of things that need to get done, plan a memorial, pack up belongings, take care of other family members and get finances in order. Once you check off everything on your list, grief can overwhelm you even when you thought you were handling it well. You were managing "business" well, but you were not attending to your own needs so you could get things done. Now, you're experiencing delayed grief. It's your time to process.

Delayed grief may find you without support. The rest of the mourners feel their grief starting to wane and can't understand why you're not on the same page. They may unknowingly say judgemental things that make your grieving process more difficult. You need support, and they don't know what to do or say. A professional therapist or counselor can help you and provide the support you need to find peace.

Chronic grief

Chronic grief is a type of grief that lasts longer than six months and is often associated with trauma or an event that makes it difficult to cope. It is quite similar to complicated grief. Chronic grief is a form of prolonged grief that doesn't reduce in severity with the passage of time.

The experience of chronic grief can be isolating and painful. It can lead to physical and emotional health problems. There is no one right way to cope with chronic grief, but there are some helpful strategies that can make the process easier. Some strategies to help you deal with chronic grief include:

• Talking about your feelings

• Staying connected to supportive people

• Finding ways to honor your loved one's memory

Covid and Grieving

As the world grapples with the pandemic of Covid-19, many are mourning the loss of loved ones. For those who have recently lost a family member or friend to Covid, the experience can be especially difficult. The restriction on gathering disrupted the mourning process to protect vulnerable family members. Traditional mourning no longer provides comfort.

The disruption of the grieving process can make the unexpected loss of a loved one to Covid difficult to process. Restrictions and safety concerns have limited access to support resources. Virtual resources can take the place of some support resources, but nothing is like a hug from a loved one. You know it's not worth the cost to ignore the precautions, which can lead to guilt.

The stress of finding alternative solutions and resources can lead to anger and irritability when you just want to be free to mourn the way you have in the past. Virtual replacements may not offer the level of peace and comfort you need. You don't need a program. You need to connect.

You may find yourself entertaining thoughts of denying the pandemic so you can think about the kind of support and comfort you prefer. On the other hand, you may be having difficulty mourning in a world that just wants to move on from Covid and get back to life as usual. Working with a counselor or therapist can help you work through your conflicting thoughts and find a way to grieve that brings you peace of mind.

Two men supporting each other after the loss of a family member.

Healing from grief requires support. Ask family and friends for help and company.

Self-care for grief

Grieving is an intense experience. The death of a loved one is brutal to process. It is essential to take care of yourself during the process. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break. There are self-care techniques that can help make the process a little bit smoother.  Below are seven tips for self-care while grieving.

1. Allow yourself to feel your loss and all the emotions that come along. It's okay to feel out of sorts. Give yourself time to just be with it, even if it seems difficult. You don't always have to be productive.

2. Seek support from family and friends. Talk about your loss and how you're feeling. Discussions help you connect. When you connect with others, it can help you manage your grief.

3. Take care of yourself physically. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy foods, stay hydrated and get up and move your body regularly.

4. Give yourself time to heal. Grieving takes time. Don't expect to be over your loss overnight. Don't let others convince you you're grieving wrong or for too long. It takes as long as it takes. Seek help from a therapist if you need some extra support.

5. Find time to do nice relaxing things for yourself. Many people find things like sitting or walking in nature, coloring, gardening, being near water, journaling, listening to music, and reading calming and nurturing.

6. Notice what is helping and make time for more of those things.

7. Professionals can help. See a counselor or therapist as needed. Getting professional help can often make all the difference in your healing process.

An abstract painting with shades of blue and accents of black and white.

Grief and increased suicide risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates in the United States have increased dramatically in recent years. The CDC attributes this increase to several factors, including grief and loss. Bereavement is a strong predictor of suicide risk. The risk of suicide is six times higher in the first year after a loved one dies than at any other time.

Many people who lose a loved one struggle with intense feelings of grief. Feelings of grief can be very overwhelming and lead to thoughts of suicide. Suicidal thoughts are normal. They become a problem if you feel you may take actions to act on them. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts following the death of a loved one, please seek professional grief counseling. If you are formulating a plan, seek help immediately. There are many resources available. There is no shame in seeking help.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, there is help available. A professional online grief counselor can provide you with support and counseling to help you through your grieving process.

A woman in a medical setting is receiving a life-changing diagnosis.

Many types of loss can lead to grief. Medical complications can cause grief from the loss of abilities.

Types of Loss

Many factors can contribute to the experience of grief. Grief can come from the death of a loved one, the loss of a pet, a divorce, the loss of a job, or any other type of impactful loss. Some common causes of grief include the death of a loved one, a breakup or divorce, and the loss of a job. Other causes of grief can include serious illness or injury, the death or loss of a pet, and moving away from home.

The experience of loss is universal. Grieving is the natural response to loss. People experience loss in different ways depending on the type of loss. There are several types of loss beyond the loss of a loved one. The most common are illness, loss of abilities, divorce, job loss, moving, and pet loss. Each can be a positive or a negative experience or a mix of both, depending on the individual. There is no right or wrong way to experience any kind of loss. Like any other human emotion, such as love and attachment, grief is unique, individual experience.

Chronic illness, sudden diagnosis, or serious injury can be another type of devastating loss. A change in health can make you feel lost and helpless. There are so many unknowns. You may have lost the ability to do things you want to do. Grief may impair your cognitive function. It is common to experience changes in your energy level. All these changes can make you feel overwhelmed and alone and question your place in the world. It is difficult to make a mindset shift to see where you fit in and how you can contribute.

 Another type of loss that can be particularly difficult to cope with is divorce. It can feel like a personal failure and cause great upheaval in one's life. Marriages can be difficult to leave. However, many couples who divorce do so for good reasons, but knowing it's for the best doesn't mean it will be easy to move forward. It can be tricky to manage, and you may need extra support to make the transition.

Job loss is another type of loss that can be very traumatic. It can shatter your sense of security and identity. Losing your job can make you question what you're doing with your life. It may seem like the end of the world, but it could be an amazing opportunity. You can find a way to move forward and find new challenges and a satisfying career.

Moving can also be a taxing experience, especially if it is involuntary.

In addition to the stress of relocating to a new place, being forced to move caused several losses. You leave behind so much. You have to deal with the loss of your home, community, and support network.

Coping With Loss

Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy. Grief can be a complicated emotion to manage. There are many ways to cope with the loss of your loved one. You may find comfort in talking about them with friends and family members. Writing down your thoughts and feelings may be helpful. Providing support for others who share your loss can bring you some comfort.

Young Black woman comforting a grieving friend.

Support from family and friends provides comfort when you’re grieving.

Coping with loss is easier with several different kinds of support.

You may choose to participate in a social support group, peer support program, or grief counseling.

Therapy can help you cope with the death of your loved one when support from family and friends just isn't enough. It is essential to find what works best for you and allow yourself time to grieve. Grieving doesn't have a set process or timetable.

No matter what type of loss you are experiencing, your grieving process can include feeling overwhelmed, having difficulties with organization, feeling isolated, and having trouble sleeping. You can experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, tightness in your chest, or nausea. Your emotions can be all over the place, feeling lost, overwhelmed, guilty, angry, depressed, or anxious. You need grief support.

Your support network can include family, friends, a professional counselor, a community support organization or nonprofit support program, support group meetings, social media groups, online forums, and pets. Many organizations offer paid and free social and peer support meetings and other resources for grieving people. Some for-profit organizations require a completed questionnaire or survey and membership to access support meetings.

There are several kinds of groups and meetings for different types of loss. Sometimes support meetings focused on one population can be more comforting, and sometimes people prefer general grief support meetings. Social media groups can be effective for networking with others going through a similar variety of symptoms. Social media groups offer a place to anonymously discuss concerns, problems, and questions. Some people use online social media for support and to share their stories, memories, and photos.

You can meet with a grief counselor online, so you don't have to leave your home when it might be difficult or even unsafe to drive. Some support group meetings meet online as well. When you are grieving, support is essential. You are human and will experience a wide range of normal feelings during the grieving process. Asking for support is not a sign of weakness. You need support to heal. Asking for support shows strength.

A woman relaxing peacefully on the couch

Take time for yourself to rest, recharge and find some peace as you process your grief.

Coping with loss takes time. 

Grieving is difficult. Grief recovery takes time. It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and it is not only okay but essential to take time for yourself. If you are experiencing grief symptoms after a significant loss or traumatic event, reach out for help and support.

Coping with the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult things you can go through. It takes time to heal from the emotional pain. There is no right or wrong way to go through the grieving process. There are no rules for how long it will take to get over the death of a loved one. Time will pass, and eventually, you will find a way to cope and put your life together.

Plan to take it easy for a while. After all the arrangements have been made, and the urgent tasks are completed, it's common to find yourself exhausted and stressed on top of your feelings of grief. You may feel like you don't have the strength to do anything. It's essential to recognize your needs and take care of them. Schedule some downtime to take it easy for a while and allow yourself time to heal. Slowly ease yourself back to your regular everyday life. If you're feeling down and depressed, get some help from a professional counselor or therapist.

A young Black man participating in online grief therapy.

An online grief therapist can provide the support you need to process your grief and find peace.

Coping with loss with support from a grief therapist.

Grief counseling with a therapist or counselor can provide you with support, guidance, and resources to process your loss. You can find a way to treasure memories and heal your heart.

A licensed mental health professional specializing in grief and loss can help you cope with your loss, find peace, and live your life. Licensed counselors have special training and experience to support you in an effective and therapeutic way family and friends cannot. They provide professional services to support you as you heal. Professional grief counseling can help you figure out your place in the world, find purpose and get you back to having social interactions.

Counseling is more therapeutic than a friendly chat. Grief counseling helps support your mental health. Online counseling makes it easier to connect with a professional to get the support you need. Therapists and counselors are trained to meet your needs, identify your strengths and help you find solutions. They can help you work through difficult emotions.

Your counselor can support you if you are grieving alone. They can help you find peace and hope where you thought there was none. You can meet online in the comfort of your own home and access effective and caring therapy. Online counseling provides the same level of support as in-office sessions. It can make it easier to get the help you need to stabilize your mental health.

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