Online Grief Support Options

Updated January 9, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Grief is usually defined as the feelings of anguish and yearning that are often experienced after a significant loss. Although many people tend to isolate themselves during times of grief, support from others can be very helpful during these challenging periods of life. Online support groups and resources such as My Grief Angels and Grief Anonymous may be beneficial to those moving through the stages of grief. Online therapy may be another option for effective online grief support.

Learn To Move Through Grief And Cope With Loss.

The Definition Of Grief

The American Psychological Association defines grief as the anguish often experienced after significant loss, especially the death of a loved one. Grief may involve:

  • Physiological distress

  • Confusion

  • Separation anxiety

  • Yearning

  • Obsessive dwelling on the past

  • Apprehension about the future

  • Immune system disruption

  • Self-neglect

  • Suicidal thoughts*

Less frequently, the word grief can be used to talk about remorse for something you’ve done, regret for something you’ve lost, or sorrow over a mishap.

*If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please know that help is available. You may contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 988.

Even though grief can feel abnormal because it is often such a strong and even debilitating emotion, nearly everyone experiences grief when they lose someone or something that was important to them.

Why Some People Isolate Themselves During Times Of Grief

There can be many reasons why people tend to isolate themselves throughout the grieving process. 

First, grief may make you feel like there is no one around who can relate to what you are experiencing or that no one can make you feel better. 

It could be that you’ve learned unhelpful myths about managing grief and feel like you must stick to coping methods that aren't helping. 

You might feel pressure from other people to cheer up, be positive, or not talk about your loss when that is what you really need to do, making it seem like the better choice is to isolate yourself instead. 

Although people usually have good intentions when comforting others, the advice and suggestions given to you may ring hollow or feel unnatural. This can contribute to you wanting to be alone.

As much as you may think you need to be alone during the grieving process, it’s possible that fellowship could be what you need to help you get through this difficult time. There may be several online grief support options available to you that may support you through your healing journey.

How Can Online Grief Support Help?

If you are experiencing feelings related to loss, you might consider joining a bereavement group or online grief support group. Online groups can be a great way to get support if you are experiencing difficulty with grief. Many of them may be structured similarly to in-person groups, with the only difference being that you can participate in an online community instead of an in-person group.

Online support groups typically consist of one or more mental health professionals (such as a grief counselor) who may guide participants through their grief. Participants can usually discuss their grief in a supportive space with others who know exactly what they are going through. 

Online grief support groups can come in many forms. Some groups act as discussion groups and have participants meet through video chats and live calls. Other online grief support groups may take the form of online forums or a message board. You may also find groups that use live chat rooms if you prefer live support in a safe space that allows more exclusivity than video chatting. Other groups may primarily be social media groups, such as grief-related Facebook groups or subreddits.

Furthermore, grief support groups may cater to specific groups or a specific type of loss. For example, you may find groups that cater to young people and young adults and other groups that specifically help those who have lost pets. But if you just want a support group that offers online support for all kinds of grief, then there may be plenty of those as well.

You may be able to find the right online grief support group for you through a simple online search.

My Grief Angels

My Grief Angels may be an excellent option if you’re in search of general grief support. My Grief Angels is a nonprofit created after its founders experienced grief themselves and looked for support. The nonprofit offers many resources for those who are grieving, including online grief support groups, online forums, directories and surveys, and educational content in the form of courses and books.

Grief Anonymous

Another potentially helpful online grief support group is Grief Anonymous. This group is similar to other “Anonymous” groups (like Alcoholics Anonymous) in that it is structured within 12 steps. 

What Recovery From Grief Can Look Like

During times of grief, it can be important to remain connected with others in your life who can support you through your challenging periods. It can also be crucial for you to reach a state of acceptance regarding your feelings and thoughts about your lost loved one.

Through grief recovery work, you may find yourself enjoying and appreciating the people and the small moments of your life more as you connect to them in an intentional way.

The Recovery Process

You may find that memories of the loved ones you have lost still hurt sometimes, but that you can also remember them with laughter and joy again. When you grieve someone, you may not necessarily be saying good-bye to them and the memories you created together. Instead, you may be saying good-bye to the pain of their absence and hurts from your relationship that you feel you did not get to repair. 

Sometimes, we can feel like there are things, even apologies, that we never got to say to someone. Other times, we may not have had a chance to hear our loved one say things that were very important for us to hear.

You may reach the end of your healing journey once you feel a sense of acceptance regarding these difficulties.

The Importance Of Healthy Coping Skills

Some of the ways that people attempt to handle grief can lead to additional problems. For instance, using various substances to numb your feelings can make it harder to heal in many cases. It can be common to employ unhealthy behaviors to temporarily distract or relieve pain, but it is often much better to implement healthy coping skills in order to make progress.

Online Therapy May Help You Cope With Loss

Aside from various online grief support groups, online therapy can be another source of support that you can reach from home. It often requires very little effort to connect with a licensed therapist specializing in helping their clients cope with grief; a brief questionnaire is usually all it takes to be matched with a therapist who is ready to provide the help you deserve.

As this study explains, internet-based interventions can be an effective treatment approach for grief symptoms in adults who have lost a loved one. If you believe you’d find value in working with a mental health professional, we highly recommend reaching out for support.

Conclusion

When we experience a significant loss, particularly the loss of a loved one, we often feel emotions of yearning and anguish that are commonly referred to as grief. Getting support from others can be a wonderful way to move through the stages of grief into acceptance, and there are many online grief support options. Some of these may include online support groups. Grief Anonymous and My Grief Angels may be two helpful resources. Meanwhile, working with a licensed mental health professional through an online therapy platform can be another method of getting online support for grief.

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