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Coping with Grief and Loss

Grieving is a healthy and natural healing process. It is not a sign of weakness. For most people, grieving follows a pattern that proceeds through a series of stages.

The best way to confront loss is to recognize it, understand the feelings and reactions you experience, and receive support from loved ones during the grieving process.

Tips for Coping with Grief

  • Take your time. Don't judge or measure your reactions by those of others.
  • Talk, share your feelings and the meaning this loss has for you.
  • Pay attention to your body's needs. Exercise (according to your doctor's recommendations) and balanced nutrition are essential.
  • Surround yourself with friends and family who love and support you. Avoid isolating.
  • Tears may come unexpectedly and at times when you thought you were finished grieving. Be patient with yourself. Their intensity and frequency should diminish with time.
  • Allow yourself time to grieve and give yourself breaks from the grieving process.
  • If you follow a religious faith, this can be a time for prayer and quiet meditation. Seek out your faith mentors.
  • Avoid alcohol and other mind-altering substances.
  • Learn to be sensitive and flexible with your new needs and lifestyle.

It may be helpful to understand the common stages of the grieving process. They may include:

  1. Denial

    Disbelief
    Numbness
    Shock
  2. Anger and Guilt

    Anger, sometimes misdirected
    Guilt, sometimes misdirected
  3. Sadness and Despair

    Sadness
    Loneliness
    Tearfulness
    Depression
    Reminders that bring new waves of grief
  4. Acceptance and Hope

    Acceptance of your loss
    Adjustment to changes
  5. Aftermath

    Gradual lessening of feelings of grief

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like grief support, click here for more information.

Note: The planning tips and guidelines on these pages are not intended as legal advice, nor to be construed as legal advice. For any legal or tax issues related to your personal situation, you should consult a qualified legal professional or tax advisor.

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