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Note from MTHC: Grief and Loss

Life after Loss: Dealing with Grief

Loss is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process. Dealing with a significant loss can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life.

Sudden or shocking losses due to events like crimes, accidents, or suicide can be traumatic. There is no way to prepare. They can challenge your sense of security and confidence in the predictability of life. You may experience symptoms such as sleep disturbance, nightmares, distressing thoughts, depressed mood, social isolation, or severe anxiety.


How long am I going to feel this way?

The length and experience of the grief process is different for everyone. There is no predictable schedule for grief. Although it can be quite painful at times, the grief process should not be rushed.


Is this normal?

When experiencing grief, it is common to:

  • Feel like you are “going crazy”
  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Feel sad or depressed
  • Be irritable or angry (at the deceased, oneself, others, higher powers)
  • Feel frustrated or misunderstood
  • Experience anxiety, nervousness, or fearfulness
  • Feel like you want to “escape”
  • Experience guilt or remorse
  • Be ambivalent
  • Feel numb
  • Lack energy and motivation

What should I do?

It is important to note that the grief process is not linear, but is more often experienced in cycles. Grief is sometimes compared to climbing a spiral staircase where things can look and feel like you are just going in circles, yet you are actually making progress. Being patient with the process and allowing yourself to have any feelings about the loss can help.

Each one of us has an individual style of coping with painful experiences. The list below may help you generate ideas about how to manage your feelings of grief.

  • Talk to family or friends
  • Seek counseling
  • Read poetry or books
  • Engage in social activities
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy, good foods
  • Seek spiritual support
  • Take time to relax
  • Join a support group
  • Listen to music
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Let yourself feel grief


If you feel stuck in your grief, talking to a counselor or a supportive person may help you move forward in the healing process.

If you need to speak with someone urgently, use Foundation 2 Crisis Line Iowa: (800) 332-4224 or (319) 362-2174

You can also make an appointment for mental health support at the Tribal Clinic by calling 641-484-4094



Caitlin Silveira, LMHC

Mental Health Counselor

Meskwaki Tribal Health Clinic

Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa

1646 305th St

Tama, IA 52339

641.484.4094 x9453

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