Common Grief Reactions (Kubler-Ross, n.d.)

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Crying unexpectedly
  • Shock and Numbness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Sadness & Intense feelings of guilt
  • Feelings of anger
  • A sense of disbelief
  • Confusion
  • Tightening of throat, chest and inability to perform certain tasks

How to cope with these reactions?

  • Connect with friends, family members, the faith community, doctors, psychiatrist, a social worker
  • Allowing yourself to feel your feelings
  • Create positive memories using photos and collages or memory box
  • Attend Support Groups
  • Read about grief and journal your thoughts
  • See comforting rituals
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle (i.e., exercise, eat well, get lots of rest
  • Sing some of your favorite songs
  • Avoid major changes in residence, jobs, relationship status (following the first year)
  • Watch uplifting movies
  • Cook your favorite food

Why is it important to address grief & Loss?

  • When grief is unresolved or repressed grief can increase anxiety, causes anguish, lead to multiple physical complaints, sleeping issues, strained relationships, increase substance use, clinical depression and increase mortality from heart disease and suicide (Dyer, 2004).
  • It is important to address the above issues to help prevent or minimize future stress and/or health issues.

If you require additional support see list of services to contact on next page. Best wishes!

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation (n.d). Retrieved from:

Dyer K. (2004). Understanding the Impact of Loss & Grief on our Patient’s Well Being: Learning How to Take a Loss History.

Community Resources to help you cope

  • Bereaved Families of Ontario, Toronto – Phone # 416-440-0290
  • Call 211 for Community Health Centers near you. Social workers are available
  • Free and drop-in counselling for individuals, couples and families – available at locations across ON. 1-416 877 1308
  • Spiritual Care is available at Religious Institutions & Hospital – Ask your Neighbor or Nurse
  • Obtain counselling using the following resources:
  1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – (416) 929-8501
  2. Family Service Organization – locations across GTA
  3. Rouge Valley Mental Health Community Programs 905-831-8326
  4. Scarborough General outpatient Mental Health – 416-431-8135
  5. Toronto Western Hospital outpatient Mental Health – Referral from GP required
    • Speak to your family doctor who can refer you to see a therapist
    • Employee Assistant Program available on some work benefit (ask your human resource department) – they provide free counselling via telephone, email or face to face.

Self-Help Tools and Resources
Mind Shift: