Experiencing or anticipating the death of a loved one or community member takes on many different meanings for people. Grief is a natural process of adjusting to such a significant loss. Some days the grieving person is focused on their pain; other days they may feel less distressed. Often people in grief may feel confused because their responses can vary significantly and can manifest in physical, emotional, mental and or spiritual ways. While every person grieves every loss differently, people may experience a number of changing emotions, including, but not limited to, sadness, anger, guilt, shame, ambivalence, and confusion. Some people will express their grief more emotionally or by crying; others may be "action takers" or work out their responses by exercising, writing or taking some creative action. Grieving people may become easily overwhelmed with too much sensory or cognitive input, and their energy levels may vary from hour to hour. In addition sleeping and eating habits may be disrupted.. All of these responses are normal as the grief takes time to become integrated into our lives.

If you need to inform the university about the death of a CU student, faculty or staff please contact the Dean of Students Office at 303-492-9048.

Explore your options

Grief and loss is a natural process and the first people who are often most helpful are those in your community who also knew the person who passed. Seeking support or counseling when dealing with the death of a loved one or community member may also be a part of working through grief. There are many resources available on campus for faculty, staff and students that can offer assistance around the death of a loved one. OVA is free and confidential and here to be a resource for counseling support, academic advocacy,  and providing information, referrals, and consultation on additional campus and community resources.

If you feel that your current housing arrangement is no longer appropriate for you, OVA can discuss options for a change of housing.

Grief can impact all facets of a person’s life. The structure of an academic routine can be useful for some people, while others find that concentrating on school work is next to impossible. If you are finding it difficult to focus on your academic work, OVA can discuss options for managing these issues.

It is common for students to need some time off after a death to attend memorial services or reconnect with family and community. While taking this time away can be challenging during the academic year, it is often possible to make arrangements with professors and does not require you to withdraw from school. OVA can talk to you about working with professors. At the same time, some students feel that they can no longer stay in school after the death of a loved one and OVA can help you with various withdrawal options.