The loss of a loved one is always a painful experience. Just as love is a process that occurs over time, so is grief. Depending on how close the relationship was, the process will be more or less intense. When facing loss it is normal to encounter a variety of emotions. At first, many people experience denial. They may refuse to admit that someone has died or they may pretend the loss hasn’t occurred. Many people continue to see their loved on in dreams or visions. This is a common experience. Denial is often followed by feelings of anger, despair and guilt. Grieving people may wish to withdraw from friends or their usual activities for a few months. Over time people usually work through their grief. Although they will always miss the person who has died, they will usually accept the loss and begin to resume their normal activities after several months. If you have a loved one who is grieving it is important to let them talk about the loss as much as they want. By listening, you will do much to encourage them through the process. If the grieving is intense, prolonged, or is accompanied by suicidal thoughts, a professional counsellor should be consulted.