What is grief?

Loss and the resulting grief are a normal part of life and most people cope well with the support of friends, family and faith groups. There is no right way to express grief, it is very personal and does not follow a pattern that is the same for everyone.

Typical reactions during grief include:

  • shock and disbelief
  • feeling sad that something has gone
  • feeling angry or resentful
  • anxiety about the future without what was lost
  • constantly thinking about what was lost
  • difficulty concentrating
  • changes to sleep and appetite.

The important thing to remember is that it is normal to feel a whole range of feelings, but if you get stuck in an emotion that is stopping you from meeting study or work commitments, then you need to seek help.

What you can do

Support online

Grieving is what we do. The e-couch bereavement and loss program may be helpful for people who have recently lost someone they care about.

Apps that help

  • Learn ways to feel grief with the ACT Companion (iOS and Android).
  • Let go of troubling thoughts with Smiling Mind (iOS).

Simple things

  • What you feel is normal, express it.
  • Make time each week to grieve by talking (and crying if you feel like it).
  • Say goodbye to your loss in your own way, feel happy when you do.
  • Plan how you will cope at difficult times such as a birthday.

If your study is affected by a significant loss you can apply for special consideration.

Community support

Talk to a counsellor or join a bereavement support group at the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement.