What to Anticipate When You Are Grieving

What are common responses when someone you love passes away?

Grief can be agonizing and overpowering, and sometimes scary. As you grieve, you may have anxiety about your responses. You may wonder if your feelings and responses are usual. Below are some of the commonly felt grief reactions as described by many people in mourning.

You may sense a range of emotions:

  • Sadness or hopelessness that comes and goes suddenly

  • Nervousness about life without your loved one

  • Guilt or anger over things done and said, or things not done and said

  • Appreciation that your loved one’s suffering is over

  • Rejecting that the loss actually occurred

  • Relief that you no longer have to be concerned

  • Shock

You may experience feelings such as:

  • Tightness in the throat

  • Heaviness in the chest

  • Loss of appetite

  • Mood swings

  • Extreme forgetfulness

  • Excessive fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Trouble concentrating

You may act out of character:

  • Crying at unexpected times

  • Overeating

  • Undereating

  • Wandering aimlessly

  • Assuming the mannerisms or traits of your loved one

  • Exploding in anger

  • Telling and retelling stories about your loved one

These are all typical grief reactions. You are not going wild when you feel them. You are grieving because you dared to love.

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