• Ken Ribotsky

Loss and grief: it affects people in many different ways

Experiencing loss can have a powerful impact on how we feel. Strong emotions can result from the death of a loved one (or a pet), loss of a job, or the end of a relationship. People can also react negatively to positive losses, such as moving to a new home, graduating from college, or retiring from a job. Experiencing loss can cause a myriad of feelings such as:

· Shock, disbelief, or denial

· Sadness, anger, or fear

· Guilt



Loss is also associated with an emotional process called grieving. How people grieve may vary greatly from one person to the next. Loss and grieving can also manifest as physical symptoms, including:

· Feeling tired or “heavy”

· Difficultly falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night

· Losing or gaining weight

· Aches, pains, nausea, or lowered resistance to illness

Grieving takes time. For some, the process is so overwhelming that it disrupts their lives. This is common when people cannot make sense of a loss, such as the premature death of an adult, child, or a suicide. Those who withdraw and isolate following a loss can experience further feelings of sadness, or even depression.


With any type of loss, it is important to “work through it.” Talking with someone you feel safe with can help.