Grief is a normal response experienced when something or someone important is lost. Thus, the death of a parent as well as the end of a relationship can cause grief.
We all come to the experience of loss with different experiences, traditions, and beliefs so may deal with loss in different ways. It is hard to know how best to respond to someone who is grieving a loss.
Our culture minimizes the time it takes to grieve, and encourages avoidance of talking about or experiencing the deep pain involved in significant loss. However, the avoidance of pain is like denying the pain from a broken bone. Not caring for the injury can result in further damage and lead from grief to depression.
Grieving is different from depression. Depression involves the absence of positive feelings and is different from the deep sorrow experienced at the loss of a loved one. Signs of depression include:
It is important to remember that there is no timetable for grief. Grieving may well interfere with the concentration, energy, and focus needed to keep up with academics, work, and social connections.
For students experiencing a significant loss, it may be important to explore with the college what adjustments are necessary for them as they grieve. This could range from taking a few days off campus to attend a funeral, dropping a class if concentration is hard, or taking a semester off. Several offices on campus can help you with this process.
Center for Faith and Life