Grief Support

Coping with Grief

The loss of a loved one can result in feeling a number of different emotions. From anger, fear, sadness and guilt, grief can come in many forms. Experts say every individual copes with grief differently, but accepting the feelings and learning how to deal with them is vital in the healing process. There is no time stamp on grief – for some it may take weeks or months but for others, grief can be measured in years. Take solace in knowing that the decision you or your loved one made to save lives through the gift of donation is one that will live on forever. Coping with the loss can be difficult, but RTI Donor Services is here to help you find the tools and resources you need to help you heal, as well as educate you on your loved one’s gift and the many miracles that came with it.

The below information was acquired from online resources and organizations who specialize in dealing with grief and grief counseling.

According to, a not-for-profit site dedicated to helping people understand, prevent, and resolve many of life’s challenges, grief can come in five stages:

Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”

Learn more about coping with grief and loss and the authors of the above.

According to grief specialists, not everyone will experience each of these stages, but knowing that these feelings are common is important in the process. It’s also important to remember that there is no right way to grieve.

The Symptoms of Grief

As mentioned earlier, grief can take many forms. Always remember that what you experience with grief is a normal reaction to the loss of a loved one. Common symptoms can include:

  • Loss of appetite, nausea, or an empty feeling in your stomach
  • Restlessness or difficulty sleeping
  • Inability to maintain focus on a project or task
  • Taking on the mannerisms of your loved one
  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Feelings of anger or bitterness toward the deceased or others around you
  • Expressions of envy when seeing others with their loved ones
  • Profound sadness and emptiness
  • Feelings of shock and disbelief
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Aches and pains

No matter the symptoms, finding support from others may help you to heal. It’s important that you not keep your feelings inside. Take time to talk to your family about what you are going through and ask for their help. Do not grieve alone. If you are uncomfortable seeking support from family or friends, consider finding comfort in your faith, joining a support group or talking with a grief counselor. Professional assistance can be found through a hospice service or by referral from your health care provider. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or a preoccupation with death, seek help immediately.