There is no “right way” to grieve: everyone responds to grief differently. Sadness, numbness, anger, and disbelief are just some of the feelings that are part of grieving. It’s important to remember that grief is an individual process and that grief takes time.

Allow Yourself Time to Grieve

Some students use academic and work obligations as a means of distraction from the painful feelings of loss. While there are times that these feelings need to be temporarily put aside as a means of day-to-day functioning, it’s important to also allow time for grieving.

Take Care of Yourself

The grieving process can be stressful both physically and mentally, so it’s important to focus on self-care when dealing with feelings of loss. Try to find an activity you enjoy and set aside a time to do it; journaling, exercising, taking a walk, or watching a funny movie are just a few examples.

Memorializing a Loved One

Think of ways that you can celebrate the memory of your loved one. Make a collage or a scrapbook, write a poem or a story, or volunteer for a charity that was important to them.

Seek Spiritual Support

Some students find it helpful to reach out to places of worship after the loss of a loved one. There are great resources on campus, including Marsh Chapel and Hillel.

Remember to Breathe

When feelings of grief and loss become overwhelming, it can be helpful to try a simple breathing exercise. Sit in a chair with both feet on the floor and your hands in your lap. Inhale through your nose for a count of five, filling your lungs with air like a balloon. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth, again for a count of five. Repeat 3-5 times as needed.

Don’t Go it Alone

It’s important to share your feelings of grief and loss with a trusted family members and friends. You may want to consider seeing a mental health provider if you are feeling stuck in your grief or it is impacting your daily functioning.