We all journey through the grieving process differently.
Grief is more than just sadness—it is all the ways we respond to loss. Grieving is the process of coping with the heartache, loneliness and practical adjustments that occur after someone significant to us dies.
Individual experiences will vary, but are a few common responses:
- A sense of relief or acceptance that some suffering is ended
- Shock, disbelief or a feeling of unreality
- Physical symptoms, such as exhaustion or low energy, tightness in throat or chest, an “empty feeling,” or digestive problems
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering; difficulty making decisions
- Changes in appetite and/or sleep patterns
- Restlessness and/or irritability
- Anger or frustration with yourself, your loved one, the medical community, God or the situation; thinking “it’s not fair”
- Preoccupation with the illness or death, reviewing or reliving what happened
- Frequent, sometimes unexpected, bouts of tearfulness and/or emotional outbursts
- Deep sorrow, sadness missing your loved one’s presence
- Regret or guilt;”if only” thinking
- Spiritual questioning or a need for spiritual comfort and support
Among your family and friends, you will likely see a wide range of responses to the death of your loved one, both immediately and in the months to come. You can’t always tell from the outside how someone is reacting to loss on the inside. You may need to adjust your expectations of yourself and others. Others may tell you how or how not to grieve.
“Even when we grow through our grief and feel we have put our lives together again, it is normal to feel each loss throughout our lives.”
Hospice care includes grief support.
Get more information or speak to someone about grief by calling 360-814-5550.