Notice of Data Security Incident. Read here.
Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone or something very important to you. The loss may cause sadness and may cause you to think of very little else besides the loss. The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe feelings of grief.
Grieving is the process of emotional and life adjustment you go through after a loss. Grieving after a loved one's death is also known as bereavement.
Grieving is a personal experience. Depending on who you are and the nature of your loss, your process of grieving will be different from another person's experience. There is no normal and expected period of time for grieving.
You may experience physical, emotional, social, or spiritual expressions of grief. While you are feeling shock, numbness, sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, or fear, you may also find moments of relief, peace, or happiness.
Grieving can cause problems such as headaches, loss of appetite, or trouble with thinking or sleeping. You may withdraw from friends and family or behave in ways that are unusual for you. Grief may cause you to question your beliefs or views about life.
Grief and grieving are the natural response to a major loss, such as the death of a loved one. Loss can cause feelings of grief, sometimes when you least expect it.
You may find that old feelings of grief from past loss can be triggered by current experiences or anniversaries of that loss. This is normal.
Anticipatory grief happens in advance of an impending loss. You may feel anticipatory grief for a loved one who is sick and dying.
Counseling is best done by a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling, such as a:
Health professionals who can help you if you are having medical or mental health problems requiring medicine include:
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
Harvard Pilgrim has a large and growing network of behavioral health providers that offers expertise across dozens of behavioral health care specialties. Search our online directory to find a provider near you.
The information you are about to access may not meet accessibility standards for people with disabilities, including visual impairment, nor is it optimized for people using tablets or phones. Please bear with us as we work to upgrade this information to the same standards as the rest of our website.