Following the death of your loved one with whom your life was entwined, there follows a period of suffering. Grief is complex and has emotional, physical, behavioural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions. It is a normal human journey and represents our adaptation towards living life without our loved person. It can be an incredibly difficult, lonely and disorientating experience.

Grief is a very individual experience. Here are some of the common things people experience emotionally.

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling empty
  • Feeling lonely
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Crying all the time
  • Feeling numb or not being able to cry at all
  • Feeling like you’re “on autopilot” as you attend to practical matters around the death
  • Feeling fearful or anxious
  • Feeling deep sorrow
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feelingly angry at everything and everyone (sometimes with the person who has died)
  • Forgetting the person has died e.g If they made you a cup of tea every morning you might find yourself fleetingly expecting them to walk through the door with it.
  • Hearing or seeing the person who has died
  • Being pre-occupied with memories of the person’s illness and death
  • Feeling physically drained or unwell (see section on physical effects of grief)

The grief response often has physical aspects, most common in the acute phase of your loss. These are all considered normal, though if they persist, talk to your GP.

  • Eating less or more
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • A feeling of exhaustion
  • Physical aches and pains
  • A physical feelings of anxiety- heart racing, sweating, breathlessness or occasionally panic attacks

Next - Managing Your Grief

Other resources you may be interested in:

Grief. What is Normal?

Personal Bereavement Stories

Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief