It’s Ok to Grieve

Grief is most often associated with losing a loved one to death; however, grief can also occur due to estrangement or other unexpected life circumstances. Other life circumstances that may trigger grief include the loss of a pregnancy; diagnosis of a chronic or terminal illness; news that a loved one is ill; a global pandemic or natural disaster; losing a job, an identity, a future dream, a home; and losing feelings of safety and security. Whether the loss is due to death or to unexpected circumstances, people can feel deep pain, sadness, guilt, and other complex emotions. Life transitions such as graduation, moving away from home, and changing jobs may also bring about a sense of grief and loss. Often, we judge whether or not it is appropriate to grieve a particular circumstance, however it is important to remember that it’s ok to grieve any loss you face – no matter how big or small it may seem to others.

Rollercoaster of Grief

You may have heard of the 5 stages of grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. While many people experience these different stages of grief, they are often non-linear. Rather than a staircase, the process of grieving has been compared to a rollercoaster due to our tendency to go back and forth between these 5 (or more) stages. To better understand this rollercoaster of grief, and ways to begin coping, check out this video (although the video seems specific to coping with death of a loved one, it is applicable to grieving any loss) or this article.

To learn more about the symptoms of grief, myths around grief, coping strategies, or what to do when you feel stuck in your grief, check out this guide.

Moving Forward with Grief 

As you begin to find ways to cope with your grief, for instance, by seeking support from loved ones, engaging in self-care, honoring or celebrating the past, or accepting your emotions, you may begin to feel guilty for “moving on.” If you find yourself questioning whether it is appropriate to move on or how to move forward watch this TED talk by Nora McInerny.

As you continue to move forward with your grief, remember to take care of yourself. This may mean planning ahead for triggering dates or milestones, finding ways to express yourself regularly, or practicing mindfulness. If you find yourself questioning whether your grief may have triggered a depressive disorder, check out the depression page for more information.

Contact and Hours of Operation

Address: 1462 Clifton Road, Suite 235, Atlanta, GA 30322
Phone: (404) 727-7450
Fax: (404) 727-2906
Crisis Consultation: Call (404) 727-7450, 8:30-5:00, Monday-Friday
Hours of Operation: 8:30-5:00, Monday-Friday

PLEASE NOTE: If Emory University is closed due to weather or other emergency, then CAPS is also closed. In such circumstances, students will be contacted to reschedule appointments once the university reopens.