We all have losses of loved ones in our lives. How we react to them can depend on a number of factors including whether the death was expected or unexpected, whether the person dying was young or old, and what one's individual experience with loss has been like. Each loss is different and we may be surprised by how we react. It is important to remember that there are many different ways that grief affects people. Some people are immobilized by sadness. Others don't feel much at first and wonder if they are doing something wrong, then feel a deep loss some time later. Some feel their emotions rollercoaster, feeling fine at times and then suddenly being hit by a wave of grief. The best strategy is to expect that loss might affect you in unexpected ways, and to be patient and gentle with yourself.
A few strategies that can aid in mourning a loss are:
It is expected that one will feel sad when experienceing loss. If that sadness begins to impair daily functioning for a matter of weeks, then professional help may be needed. Examples of serious impairment include: repeatedly missing classes and assignments, failing to go to work, becoming overly irritable with others, and isolating. If grief and sadness becomes depression, students can seek professional services at the Counseling Center. Call (414) 288-7172 to schedule an appointment.
Other resources on campus include Campus Ministry or any trusted faculty or staff person.