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Young Adult Grief

Losing a loved one as a young adult can be a unique experience. Young adulthood can be a decisive time in one’s life as you make many choices for your future, and you may feel that your life is just getting started.

Experiencing the death of a loved one may have been sudden, and certainly was not what you had in your plan. Losing a loved one can be a defining moment—it can not only change how you think, feel, and act, it may also adjust your priorities and outlook. This can make you feel different from your peers, whose priorities may not appear to align with your own. 

There is no timeline for grief. However, others may feel that after a certain time has passed, that you should “get over” your feelings. Your feelings of grief will change over time, and there is absolutely no timeline for when and how you should feel a certain way. 

Self-care when Grieving

Be kind to yourself. Strong feelings of grief and sadness will come and go. It is ok to take time to care for yourself. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.  Allow yourself the time and space to process your feelings.

Move forward with your grief. Remember that you do not move past grief, you move forward with it. Your memories of your loved one are forever a part of you. There are likely to be many changes in your life as a result of your loss. 

Seek support. Grief can be alienating as a young adult because your peers may not have experienced loss. Also, the problems that your peers are focused on can seem less important in comparison. It can be empowering to connect with other young adults who have also experienced the death of a loved one and may share some of the same feelings that you do.

Take care of your body. Grief can take a toll emotionally and physically. It can be depleting and exhausting. Stay well rested and physically active, if you can. If you have concerns about your well-being, see a doctor. Let your healthcare provider know if you are having trouble performing everyday activities.



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