Ask Kate Anything: Dealing with grief

Dear Sad,


Sorry for your loss. Death is something that no one ever seems ready to deal with, but is something that everyone will have to face at one time or another. It is a sad and unfortunate part of life.


It is important to know that everyone deals with grief differently, so don’t feel ashamed if you cry, don’t cry, need to talk about it incessantly or not talk about it at all. However you cope is OK.


According to, there are five stages of grief. While not everyone goes through every stage and there is no specific order in which they occur, they include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.


There is also no set amount of time that any stage or the entire grief period will last. Each person is different, and grief will vary based on how close the person was, how big a hole their passing will leave, if there is guilt over things left unsettled or feelings left unexpressed, and other factors.


Having a good support system in place should help. Find friends or family members that can give you what you need, whether it is simply a listening ear, a distraction, or help building a shrine at an accident site.


Something that might help is writing a letter to the person you lost. It will allow you to express any feelings you have about your relationship, about them in general, and about their passing. It will allow you to say goodbye.


If you are having trouble coping with the loss, you might consider seeing a counselor. A professional who has been trained to deal with loss and grief could be helpful in the healing process.


The Pierce College Health Center has a psychologist on staff that can meet with students for free counseling. According to their website, students can go to the Psychologist up to eight times per semester for 45 minute sessions.


No matter how you cope, whether you need to see a counselor or cry in your room alone, it is important that you do face the sadness. Don’t push it away and pretend it didn’t happen. You will have to deal with it eventually. Loss of loved ones is inevitable, and you need to process the grief.


Over time, the pain will lessen. Find some support, and hang in there.


Do you have a question for Kate?  Don’t shy away, ask Kate anything by sending an email to  If you have a question of a sensitive nature and wish to remain anonymous, your identity will be a kept a secret.