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Grief impacts us physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.

Grief is a natural and complex emotional response to the death of a loved one, but it can also be triggered by other types of losses, such as the end of a relationship, a miscarriage, the loss of a pet, or other major life transition.

Jessica Senick MSW, LCSW

Grief is a testament to the depth of our connections with others, and is a reflection of our thoughts, feelings, and memories. When someone we care deeply about passes away, grief becomes an intricate range of emotions from sadness, longing, confusion, and sometimes even anger. It is a journey through a labyrinth of emotions, each person navigating it in their own unique way. The importance of acknowledging and processing these powerful emotions is a means of healing and finding a way forward.

Typical Stages of Grief

Shock and Denial

These are temporary feelings that serve as a defense mechanism to allow time to adjust.

Anger and Resentment

These feelings can arise from a sense of injustice about the situation. This is when people often ask themselves the question, “Why me?”


This is an attempt to change the circumstances of the situation causing grief.


These are feelings of sadness and often isolation.

Regret and Guilt

Individuals may think about the past and dwell on prior actions and unresolved conflict.



This stage is about accepting that life has changed and realizing that a new reality is inevitable.


Coping with the grief related to a chronic or terminal medical diagnosis comes with its own unique set of challenges. I spent the first part of my career working in homecare and hospice, so I bring a wealth of knowledge to this area as well. People have intense fear of suffering and death. There may be anger toward doctors and questioning of one’s faith. There may be panic over limited time and regret over unaccomplished life goals. We will look for other ways to manage the feelings of powerlessness that come with grief such as setting personal goals, making plans, or finding activities that provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Grief impacts us physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Grief is hard, and it is not a burden you should have to face on your own. By sharing and processing your feelings in a supportive environment, you will gradually begin to heal.

Take your first step towards a better outlook.