Experiencing a Loss While Away at College

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, April 17, 2023

Losing a loved one can be devastating, but life does not always pause when you need it to. When away at college, you have to juggle grades, classes, a social life, and extracurriculars. Dealing with a death in the family can have a major impact on your life, especially when you are not surrounded by family and loved ones. If you experience a loss of a loved one while you are away at college, there are a few things you should consider. 

College Policies and Leaves of Absence

After a death in the family, you should reach out to the Dean of Students’ office regarding the school’s Leave of Absence policy. Generally, most colleges can excuse an amount of time for a death in the family. You may need to file paperwork with the office.
The dean’s office’s approval of your leave of absence can be important in the event that you have tests or project due dates approaching. 

Classwork and Your Professors

You should inform your professors if you are going to miss classes due to your loss. Generally, you should let them know in advance. Otherwise, a death in the family looks more like an excuse. Ask a friend or classmate to take notes for you. If possible, email any papers or homework you might have for the class, or discuss with your professor if an extension is needed.

Coming Home for the Funeral

If possible, try to come home for the funeral. Funerals are a time for families to grieve and process loss together. They provide closure, and having loved ones come together during hard times can be important. The days surrounding the funeral can often be overwhelming, and it helps to be in a familiar place surrounded by family and friends.

If you are Unable to Come Home

In the event that you cannot leave college to make the trip home, consider still taking some time to mourn. It can be easy to feel lonely while away from home. So be sure to reach out to some friends on campus for support. 

School Resources and Grief

Fortunately, many schools have grief counselors and therapy services available for their students. In many cases, their treatments are free. This can be a valuable resource for students, especially those struggling with grief. Consider visiting the counselor’s office to talk with someone about your grief. Some campuses will even have group grief counseling, which can be helpful for those who are feeling especially alone after their loss. 

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are several resources out there. For our Grief Resource Center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here. 
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Oversized Caskets FAQ

Caskets are generally designed to fit a wide assortment of body types. However, some people may require an oversized casket. An oversized casket is used if an individual’s height, weight, or width ...

Flying With Cremated Remains

Traveling with cremated remains, or cremains can have its challenges. Whether you are moving to a new state or country or bringing your loved one home with you, it is important to understand the pr...

Processing Grief Through Reading for Children

Grief can be hard at any age, but for children and young teens, expressing and processing grief can be especially challenging. It is a very complex emotion, and some children may not be able to ful...

Searching for the Right Grief Counselor

The passing of a loved one can be incredibly painful. The grief of loss often seems unbearable. After the death of someone close, some extra guidance can be helpful. Grief counselors assist those w...

Valentine's Day Without Your Significant Other

Holidays can often be a trigger for grief after the loss of a spouse or long-term partner. Memories of holidays together can pop up from store displays, themed commercials, and more. With Valentine...

Celebrating the Passing of a Long Life

After a long life lived, losing an elderly loved one can be devastating. Your whole life, they have been there for you, and now they are gone. But after a long life lived, it is also an opportunity...

Metal or Wood Caskets

Choosing a casket is an important part of the funeral process. Many families choose the casket after their loved one has passed, but some people choose their casket ahead of time. This article will...

Common Misconceptions About Therapy

Many people have misconceptions about therapy. There is often a lot of fear and stigma around therapy. However, it is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Your emotional and me...

New Years Resolutions for Older Individuals

With the new year comes a new time to set goals and resolutions. For many, resolutions can be hard to keep and are often passed up by February or March. Planning out realistic goals is an important...

Bank Accounts and The Death of a Loved One

When a death occurs in the family, there can be a lot of different things to juggle, including money. Bills, your mortgage, and all sorts of other important paperwork can be thrown into chaos other...