Grief is the acute pain that accompanies loss. It often arises from the loss of someone or something you loved, but you can also grieve a terminal illness, trauma, abuse, or other deeply distressing events. Grief can have a profound impact on your life—it’s both physical and emotional, impacting your mind, body, and spirit. People all grieve differently and there are many ways to cope with loss. No matter what has prompted your grief, allowing yourself to grieve is paramount to processing your emotion and healing yourself.

Key Things to Know About Grief

  • There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, although they don’t always go in that order and you can often bounce between stages frequently.
  • Grief is not a linear journey, so you may experience the five stages out of order and/or multiple times.
  • The grief process will look different for children, teens, and adults.
  • Grief is not just limited to the death of someone in our lives, but extends to other losses as well and the definition can be relatively broad.

Grief & Mental Health Wellness

Loss is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process. The reasons for grief are many, such as the loss of a loved one, the loss of health, or the letting go of a long-held dream. Coping after the loss of someone or something you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. It’s normal for the pain of loss to feel and become overwhelming. Grief is an individual and unique experience. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Whatever the cause of your grief, there are healthy ways to deal with the pain and eventually come to terms with your loss. Grief is a unique experience. Some may experience grief like a roller coaster, while others may experience grief throughout a series of stages. When you’re grieving, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time.

Common Misconceptions About Grief

Although your time in therapy may have far-reaching effects, there are certain things bereavement counseling can’t do.

  • It won’t make you forget the deceased.
  • It won’t allow you to bypass the pain of loss.
  • It won’t change the core of who you are.

Another misconception is that there is a “normal” timeline for grief. Grief isn't something that goes away—it can be felt months, days, or years after a loss. Rather than believing it is something you can "move on" from, take the pressure off by framing it as "moving forward." We help people better understand their own grief and learn how to manage these feelings when they come up.

Our Approach to Grief at Dakota Family Services

If you are unable to move through the stages of grief or care for yourself as you typically would, therapy will help. Therapy for grief won’t solve every problem related to your loss—but seeing a therapist, counselor, social worker, and/or psychologist can help you work through the stages of grief.

We believe everyone grieves differently, and grief can be a very complex and confusing thing to process. We meet you where you are in your grief process and help you process through the difficult thoughts and feelings that come with any sort of loss—all of which can have equally difficult impacts on a person’s well-being. The providers at Dakota Family Services take a non-judgemental and supportive approach to helping you work through this complex issue.

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