Grief, also known as bereavement, is defined at PubMed Health as an “unhappy and painful emotion that is a reaction to a major loss.” Although everyone experiences grief in a different way, the “unhappy and painful emotion” is likely to be familiar to everyone that has experienced loss. Grief can resemble depression, exhibiting similar symptoms like difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, weight loss, and feelings of sadness. However, grief is always in response to a loss of some kind, while depression can be brought on my many different factors.

Symptoms of Grief:

Symptoms of grief encompass nearly every aspect of your life and may include:

Physical Symptoms

  • Crying
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle tension, aches, and pains
Emotional Symptoms

  • Sadness and yearning
  • Worry, anxiety, and fear
  • Frustration and anger
  • Desperation and hopelessness
  • Guilt
  • Abandonment
Social Symptoms

  • Loss of interest in spending time with others
  • Isolation and avoidance behaviors
  • Acting in different ways than you normally would
Spiritual Symptoms

  • Questioning – why did this happen, why me, why my family, why?
  • Difficulty finding meaning and purpose in life
  • Thoughts about death and what happens after death

Coping with Grief

A Journey Shared…
One scholar said, “It might be well that sorrow’s the source of the great discoveries in life. It is in sorrow that a person discovers the things which matter and the things which do not matter. It is in sorrow that one discovers the meaning of friendship and the meaning of love. It is in sorrow that a person discovers whether their faith is merely a superficial ornament of life, or the essential foundation on which their whole existence depends. It is in sorrow that a person discovers God. There is a deep sense in which it is literally true that sorrow has its own unique blessedness to give.”

  -Author Unknown
Grief can affect you cognitively, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. That is why it is important to acknowledge your grief in order to understand what you are experiencing is a normal and natural response to the loss of your loved one.


Grief is a long and difficult process for many of us, but help is available. Through counseling, individuals can express painful and unhappy emotions, learn ways to cope with those emotions, and develop healthy self-care habits to relieve grief symptoms. Counseling also teaches how you can still love someone when they are no longer physically here. The grief journey is a challenging one, but there are individuals available at kp counseling to help you feel less alone and to support you as you heal.

If you are struggling with grief, help is available. Contact kp counseling at 779-368-0060.


You may experience confusion, disorientation, short-term memory problems, trouble making simple decisions, and even thinking you are going crazy. During this part of the process, there are some effective ways you can provide self-care and nurturing:

  • Read a book
  • Pursue activities you enjoy like painting or writing
  • Go to the library or book store
  • Take a workshop class
  • Make a list of goals


Grief is commonly accompanied by a myriad of emotions and feelings that can seem overwhelming much of the time. To help yourself cope with these emotions when they arise, practice some of the following self-care habits:

  • Do something each day that brings you pleasure
  • Express what you are feeling, cry, scream, yell, talk to a friend, or spend time in silence
  • Identify what you are feeling and write it in a journal
  • Listen to music
  • Reach out to other people



It is not unusual to experience physical symptoms of grief as well. To care for yourself and alleviate some of the uncomfortable physical symptoms, adopt some of the following healthy habits:

  • Choose a time to rest and relax
  • Eat regular balanced meals to keep your strength up
  • Exercise to relieve stress
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Make health your priority by having a relationship with a trusted physician
  • Slow down



Grief can even impact you on a social level, affecting how you relate to those around you. There are also ways to address some of those social changes, through realization that what you are feeling right now is not unusual and things will eventually change for the better:

  • Realize relationships may change, embrace new ones that emerge, and deepen the ones you have
  • Find someone who may have had similar experiences or is mourning a death
  • Realize you are not alone in your grief; there are others who are affected by the death of the individual



When you experience the loss of a loved one, questioning God is often a normal response to the situation. During this time of questions, there are ways you can care for yourself:

  • Find a place for spiritual meditation and start each day with a meditation
  • Go on a nature walk
  • Plant something in remembrance of the individual who died

Grief Support Services for Businesses and Schools

One of the primary components of kp counseling’s mission statement is to help individuals build relationships, whether individually or through communities. We understand that when we lose someone we are close to or see death through violence in our neighborhoods and schools, the whole world can feel as though it’s fallen apart. kp counseling’s grief support services are available for businesses and schools within our community to help support and guide people as they move through their grief journey. To learn more about our grief support services, contact kp counseling at 779-368-0060.