Resources for Grief

Grief can be a difficult experience for anyone who has recently suffered a loss or other unfortunate event in their life. Having to deal with this grief alone can make an already hard time all the more trying.

Dealing with grief is a very personal and often overwhelming experience, filled with many different emotions. It comes from losing someone or something very important and can show up as sadness, anger, confusion, or even feeling numb. Everyone goes through grief in their own way, depending on how they were connected to what they lost, their personality, and the support they have around them. The journey to feeling better is not straightforward, but understanding and accepting the process can help. It’s important to lean on friends and family, get professional help if needed, and let yourself feel and express your emotions to navigate the tough times of grief.

If you are struggling with grief, it is important to know that there are resources available to you. South Coast Behavioral Health offers the support and care you need to heal from your grief and achieve peace of mind.

Resources for Grief

The Stages of Grief

The five stages of grief is a model developed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist and a pioneer in near-death studies. Her model describes a series of emotional stages that people go through after a loss.

According to this model, the five stages of grief are:

It is important to note that the stages of grief are not a linear process. People may experience these stages in different orders. For others, they may only experience some of these stages. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to grieve.


Denial is a normal and common response to experiencing a loss, especially in the initial stages of grief. It acts as a protective mechanism for our psyche. The denial stage is believed to give us time to process the overwhelming emotions that come with loss.

This is because denial shields us from the immediate pain of loss, allowing us to gradually accept the new reality. Denial can manifest as disbelief, numbness, or a sense of detachment. You might find yourself going through the motions of daily life as if nothing has happened.

While denial can be helpful in the short term, it is important not to get stuck in this stage. Eventually, you will need to confront the reality of the loss to move through the grieving process.


Anger is a real and normal emotion that can appear during grief. Although it may seem strange or surprising to some, anger is a common reaction to loss. Grief involves many complex emotions, and anger can surface for many reasons.

You might be angry at the situation, the person who died (if due to illness or accident), yourself, or even a higher power. Sometimes, anger can be a mask for deeper emotions like sadness or helplessness.

Anger and grief can manifest in different ways. You might experience irritability, frustration, outbursts, or even physical tension. The important thing is to not feel bad for feeling angry. Suppressing your anger will not make it go away.

Denying this emotion can actually hinder your grieving process. Acknowledging your anger and allowing yourself to feel this emotion can help you understand where it is coming from.


Bargaining is a very common phase people go through during grief. It is a way of trying to regain a sense of control after a loss. Bargaining can manifest in several ways during the grieving process.

This may look like making deals with yourself, a higher power, or fate in an attempt to change the painful reality of the loss. You might find yourself thinking “what if” and “if only.” You might make promises to be a better person or do good deeds in exchange for bringing back the person you lost.

It is important to understand that this is all very normal in the grieving process. It is a way to cope with the intense emotions of grief and search for hope. However, this is only a temporary defense mechanism. Seeking support can help you process your grief and accept your loss.


Depression is typically experienced during the fourth stage of grief. This stage is characterized by intense feelings of sadness, loneliness, and emptiness. You might lose interest in activities you once enjoyed, have trouble sleeping or eating, and feel overwhelmed by the loss.

In grief, depression arises from the reality of the loss sinking in. The initial shock and denial may fade, replaced by a deep understanding of what you have lost. While painful, depression in grief is a normal part of processing the loss. It allows you to confront the pain and begin to adjust to your new reality.


Acceptance, often considered the final stage of grief, is a complex and important part of the grieving process. It does not mean forgetting the person you lost or pretending everything is okay.

Instead, it is about acknowledging the reality of your loss and starting to move forward with your life. After accepting your loss, you may still feel sadness, anger, or other emotions. Acceptance is not an overnight process.

It takes time and patience to come to terms with your new reality. As you accept your loss, you can start to find ways to live a meaningful life without the person you lost. Seeking support can help make this stage more comfortable.

Effective Addiction and Mental Health Treatment Recovery Resources for Grief

Treatment can help people dealing with grief overcome their emotional pain and move on to a brighter future. Counseling is especially important for those who have turned to substance abuse to cope with their feelings. Professional help, such as seeing a therapist or counselor, can offer guidance and coping strategies. Therapists are trained to help people work through their emotions and can provide a safe space to talk about their grief. 

Grief and Mental Health

Grief is a natural human response to loss. It is the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. While grief is most often associated with death, it can also be brought on by other losses, such as:

Everyone grieves differently, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. However, grief can sometimes lead to mental health problems. Depression and anxiety are common issues that can result from grief. If you are struggling to cope with grief, it is important to seek professional help.

Grief and Substance Abuse

Grief and substance abuse are closely linked. People who are grieving a loss are more likely to turn to substances to cope with the pain.  This can be a dangerous coping mechanism, as it can lead to addiction and other health problems.

There are many reasons why people who are grieving may turn to substances, including:

There are several ways for you to cope with your grief without turning to substance use. Allowing yourself to grieve is the most important part of healthy grieving. Do not try to bottle up your emotions.

Talking to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings can also help. If you do not have the support of friends or family, you may want to consider joining a support group for grieving people.

We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Resources for Grief

There are several resources available to help individuals who are experiencing grief and loss. Knowing where you can find support during this difficult time is important for moving through your grief in a healthy and effective manner.

To learn more about resources for grief, follow any of these links:
Suicide Crisis and Lifeline: The Suicide Crisis and Lifeline is a telephone service that provides immediate support and assistance to individuals in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts. The service is available 24/7 and can be reached by calling 988. Trained counselors offer confidential help, support, and resources to anyone in distress, with the goal of preventing suicide and promoting mental well-being.

National Widowers Organization: This organization considers itself a virtual toolkit for men who have experienced the death of a loved one. It offers them a place to meet other men going through the same experiences and find support.

The Compassionate Friends Non-Profit Organization for Grief: This organization provides comfort, hope, and support to people who have experienced the death of a child. Whether this be a son, daughter, grandchild, or other child, their goal is to help grieving individuals through this experience.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: AFSP offers support to individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide. This resource helps connect individuals with others who understand what they are going through.

What’s Your Grief: This organization aims to promote grief education, exploration, and expression through practical and creative methods. It provides resources, guidance, and support to individuals struggling with grief.

GriefShare: GriefShare helps people connect with support groups, both in-person and online, to connect with others experiencing grief and who do not want to go through this alone.

Dougy Center: The mission of Dougy Center is to offer support in a safe environment to youths and their families before and after experiencing a loss. They offer support and training across the country and internationally to children struggling with grief.

Modern Loss: This offers a place to share the more unorthodox sides of grief, including topics that are considered taboo, humorous, and even beautiful in relation to navigating life after experiencing a loss.

Tips for Coping with Grief 

  • Allow Yourself to Feel: Accept and express your emotions, whether through talking, writing, or other forms of expression.
  • Seek Support: Lean on friends, family, or support groups who can provide comfort and understanding.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Maintain a healthy routine, including eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
  • Be Patient: Grief is a process that takes time, and it’s okay to heal at your own pace.
  • Find Healthy Outlets: Engage in activities that bring you joy or relaxation, such as hobbies, meditation, or spending time in nature.
  • Consider Professional Help: If your grief feels overwhelming or persistent, speaking with a therapist or counselor can provide additional support.

Where Else Can People with Grief Go for Help?

If you are experiencing more intense grief that is causing significant disruption to your life, it may be time to seek professional help. If left unaddressed, grief can lead to more serious issues, including mental health and substance abuse problems.

South Coast Behavioral Health offers trauma-specific treatment programs. These can help people process their grief in a safe and supportive environment. We help our clients understand the root of their grief and come to a place of acceptance while developing healthy coping mechanisms.

If you are ready to start your healing journey, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our care levels and how we can assist you through the grieving process.

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