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Resiliency: Navigating through Grief

This LibGuide provides resources about navigating through grief and the grieving process.

Navigating this LibGuide

This LibGuide features materials related to navigating grief and loss. Please see below for instructions on how to navigate this guide:

  • To the left, you will find your main menu, which includes three sections: ProQuest Materials / NC Live Materials / Additional Resources
  • You will find many materials about each topic on their subject page. Each item will have a link that will take you to NC Live or ProQuest.
  • To access the ProQuest Materials, you can either:
    • Type in the e-ISBN in the search bar on your university library's webpage OR
    • Click the title to follow the link directly to the ProQuest Webpage for this item. Use your university single sign-on credentials to access the materials.
  • To access Additional Resources:
    • Click on the title/name of the item to load it
  • To Access the NC Live Materials:
    • Go directly to the NC Live website and enter the information on the search bar OR
    • Click the title to follow the link directly to the NC Live Webpage for this item. NC Live will ask you the name of your institution through a drop-down menu. Scroll through the menu until you locate the name of your library. Select the name of your library to to log into NC Live. 

What is Grief?

According to the American Psychological Association (2024) grief, " the anguish experienced after a significant loss." It is the emotional response to loss (Mughal et al., 2023).

Mourning is the outward expression of grief and includes cultural and religious customs surrounding the death (Mughal et al., 2023). It is also the process of adapting to life after loss. 

Bereavement is a period of grief and mourning after a loss (Mughal et al., 2023).

Anticipatory grief is a response to an expected loss (i.e. a terminal illness) (Mughal et al., 2023).

Disenfranchised grief (also known as hidden grief) is grief that society limits, does not expect, or may not allow a person to express (i.e. stillborn babies, pet loss, etc.) (APA, 2018)

While grief is usually due to the death of a significant person, grief can also occur due to:

  • loss of pet
  • remorse for something done
  • sorrow due to mishap done to oneself
  • loss of relationship
  • medical issue (ex. loss of limb, loss of independence, etc.)
  • traumatic event

Physical Symptoms of grief may include (, 2024):

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • restlessness
  • upset stomach
  • heart palpitations
  • weak muscles or joint pain
  • tightness in the chest or throat
  • reduced or increased appetite
  • insomnia or sleeping too much

Behavioral changes of grief may include (, 2024):

  • confusion
  • trouble thinking or making decisions
  • lost sense of hope or direction
  • difficulty focusing
  • difficulty remembering or keeping track of your responsibilities

As of March 2022, the APA officially added the diagnosis of Prolonged Grief Disorder to the DSM-V. According to the DSM-V, the diagnosis for prolonged grief is (APA, 2022):

An individual with prolonged grief disorder may experience intense longing for the person who has died or preoccupation with thoughts of that person. In children and adolescents, the preoccupation may focus on the circumstances around the death. Additionally, the individual may experience significant distress or problems performing daily activities at home, work, or other important areas. Persistent grief is disabling and affects everyday functioning in a way that typical grieving does not.

For a diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder, the loss of a loved one had to have occurred at least a year ago for adults, and at least 6 months ago for children and adolescents. In addition, the grieving individual must have experienced at least three of the symptoms below almost every day for at least the last month before the diagnosis.

Symptoms of prolonged grief disorder include (APA, 2022):

  • Identity disruption (such as feeling as though part of oneself has died).
  • Marked sense of disbelief about the death.
  • Avoidance of reminders that the person is dead.
  • Intense emotional pain (such as anger, bitterness, sorrow) related to the death.
  • Difficulty with reintegration (such as problems engaging with friends, pursuing interests, planning for the future).
  • Emotional numbness (absence or marked reduction of emotional experience).
  • Feeling that life is meaningless.
  • Intense loneliness (feeling alone or detached from others

This short video introduces the concept of Complicated Grief, which was discovered and tested for treatment by CSSW Professor Kathy Shear.

The 5 Stages of Grief by Sprouts

When losing someone or something that is important to us we often go through 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each stage serves a purpose to help us come to terms with a loss. This complex emotional response to loss is unique to each person and not always linear.

Sprouts. (2023, October 30). The 5 stages of grief [Video]. YouTube.

American Psychiatric Association. (2024). Prolonged grief disorder.

American Psychiatric Association. (2022). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (dsm-5-tr).

American Psychological Association. (2024). Grief.

American Psychological Association. (2018). disenfranchised grief.

Columbia U School of Social Work. (2017, April 6). What is complicated grief? A short introduction [Video]. YouTube. (2024). Stay Well.

Mughal, S., Azhar, Y., Mahan, M. M., & Siddiqui, W. J. (2023) Grief reaction and prolonged grief disorder. National Library of Medicine.

Looking for more information on your campus?

  • grief
  • the grieving process
  • grief therapy
  • loss
  • coping