Grief and Loss

Have you lost a loved one or experienced a breakup with a partner or friens? Did a job come to an end? Have you ever experienced a significant change or loss in your life?

It is natural to respond to any type of loss with a the feeling of grief. Grief is the emotional process you feel when something or someone is no longer in your life.

The grieving process is a personal experience. How we cope with grief can depend on our life experience, our belief systems and the type of loss. Coping with a loss takes time and happens gradually. There is no time scale for recovering. You need to be patient and listen to your thoughts and feelings as you go.

The five stages of grief

(Elizabeth Kuber-Ross 1969)

Denial: ‘This can’t be happening to me’

Anger: ‘Why is this happening? Who is to blame?’

Bargaining: ‘I would do anything for this not to happen’

Depression: ‘I’m so sad, why should I bother? What is the point?’ 

Acceptance: ‘It’s going to be okay. I can get through this.’

These emotional responses are normal and we do not necessary go through all the stages in a particular order. Many of us resolve our grief in our own way, in our own time.

You may experience

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Sadness
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Physical symptoms such as tiredness, nausea, aches and pains
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia
  • A questioning of religious beliefs
  • Thinking you are going ‘crazy.’

It is not always easy to distinguish between grief and a clinical depression as the experience can feel similar. Grief is more likely to involve mixed emotions, both good and bad days. Whereas in depression, the feelings of emptiness and despair are more constant.

You may need to seek help from your doctor or a counselling service if you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, have lost interest in life or have been unable for more than a few weeks to manage day-to-day activities.

 What helps?

  • Be aware of your feelings, try to name them
  • Accept help from friends and family
  • Look after your physical health by exercising, good sleep habits and healthy eating
  • Join a support group
  • Draw comfort from your beliefs
  • Creative ways like writing a journal about your feelings

Do you feel you need support?

Book an appointment with a Student Counsellor.

The counselling service is available:

ELTE Lágymányosi campus, building D; 1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C South building;  room 0.727, room 0.203 and room 00.721

Dealing with Grief and Loss