In life we lose a lot of things. In any day, you might lose something important to you, like the chance to hang out with someone you like, or receive a lower mark in a test you thought you did well in, or not win an important playoff game in sports... Death is not the only kind of loss we experience. We humans are used to dealing with loss, but it HURTS, and it usually SUCKS.
Losses can be both big and small. Grief is one of the ways we deal with big losses. It’s a heavy duty word that can scare people off.
A few facts about grief: It naturally happens. It is not just emotional, it is physical too. When we’re facing a loss, we get more tired. We don’t concentrate as well. We feel aches, and sometimes we get sick or catch colds more easily.
Dealing with death
Many people make a complete recovery from cancer, but some people live with health complications after the diagnosis, and others die. If your loved one dies, there may be even more feelings that you might experience.
Back in the 1960’s, a psychiatrist and author named Elizabeth Kubler Ross proposed the Five Stages of Grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These might be some of the emotions you might experience, but it is important to know that everyone is different in how they experience grief. There is no definite formula for your feelings. Be generous with yourself and give yourself time and space to heal.
You can check out these websites for more information about grief:
The Dougy Centre also provides resources for teens who are grieving.
Youth in BC has information about grief, and offers both a chat and distress line.