Grief. It’s something we’ve all dealt with in our lives. Although many only think about this emotion in the context of someone dying, grief can be experienced whenever anything you find valuable is lost \u2014 a house, a job, a marriage.\nAnd with a cancer diagnosis, grief is a common emotional roller coaster. Whether the loss you’re experiencing is tangible (a body part or strands of hair) or intangible (loss of independence or sense of yourself), grief can occur during treatment and beyond.\nUnderstanding How Cancer Causes Grief\nExperts suggest that you understand your grief in order to take the appropriate steps to manage it.\nSometimes people become frustrated with themselves for grieving and want the process to be over quickly. But try to think of your loss as a wound and your grief as the healing \u2014 the bigger the loss the longer the healing process can take.\nMany cancer patients experience collateral losses, such as not being able to work or engage in normal activities, having the financial burden of treatment, and more. Because multiple losses and life changes occur in close proximity, grief may continue to grow. Therefore, facing your emotions head on and allowing yourself to grieve will be better for you in the long run.\nRELATED:\u00a05 Guidelines for Talking to Your Kids About Cancer\nGrieving the Past and the Future After Your Diagnosis\nIt’s possible to grieve the loss of future events and things we once looked forward to.\u00a0For some people, cancer treatment can impact the ability to have children, or keep you from attending a wedding or graduation. This is a major component of\u00a0anticipatory grief, or when someone knows death is likely.\nA cancer diagnosis may remind you of other significant losses in your life. Patients often reflect back on a parent or loved one who succumbed to cancer or feel a resurgence of grief for a deceased family member because they want their support during this difficult time.\nWhen you are ill, mortality may be particularly difficult for you to handle. Many people experience the death of a friend or loved one during prolonged cancer treatment, or suffer the loss of a fellow patient that they have met during their cancer journey.\n\nThe Cancer Grieving Process\nRegardless of the type of loss, the tasks of the grieving process are the same.\n\nAccept the reality of the loss. Allow yourself space to experience the emotions and pain of grief.\nAdjust to a world without the thing that you lost.\nForm a connection to the thing you lost without having it stop you from living your life. Think, “What have I learned, how have I changed, and what can I remember fondly without the pain?”\n\nUnfortunately when it comes to grief, it is not as simple as going through stages. It is a process, and it is normal to experience more acute grief at particular times, such as the first holiday after a diagnosis or death. You may also have triggers that remind you of key moments from cancer treatment. For example, many people experience “anniversary grief” when the day or month of their diagnosis or a major surgery occurs \u2014 setting off a period of reflection.\nFind Support\u00a0for Cancer Grief\nRemember, everyone grieves differently. This can be particularly difficult with a parent or child seem to be at different places in the grieving process. If you’re having trouble managing your grief with cancer, talk to your doctor.\nThe UPMC Center for Counseling and Cancer Support offers many resources for patients and loved ones dealing with grief. They can also help you find cancer grief support groups. For more information, visit UPMC Hillman Cancer Center website \u00a0or call 412-623-5888.