Harvard Mental Health Letter

A guide to getting through grief

Losing a close friend or family member can be devastating. All the small details of daily life — getting out of bed, making meals, going to appointments, taking care of children, handling responsibilities at work — may seem monumentally hard or inconsequential. It is important for people to let the nonessentials slide and focus on ways to get through this difficult time. Dr. Michael Hirsch, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and medical editor of Harvard Medical School's Special Health Report Coping with Grief and Loss: A Guide to Healing, offers the following advice. Although some tips may seem basic, they are vital for enabling people who are grieving to work through the process.
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