What to Expect When You are Grieving

What are normal reactions when someone you love dies?

What are normal reactions when someone you love dies?

Grief can be very painful and overwhelming, and sometimes frightening. As you grieve, you may worry about your reactions. You may wonder if your feelings and reactions are normal. Below are some of the commonly felt grief responses as reported by many bereaved persons.

You may feel a variety of emotions:

  • Sadness or depression that comes and goes unexpectedly
  • Anxiety about life without your loved one
  • Guilt or anger over things done and said, or things not done and said
  • Gratitude that your loved one's suffering is over
  • Anger that God or any spiritual entity could allow this to happen
  • Denial that the loss actually happened
  • Relief that you no longer have to be concerned
  • Numbness and shock

You may experience sensations such as:

  • Tightness in the throat
  • Heaviness in the chest
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Sensing your loved one's presence
  • Hearing your loved one's voice
  • 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
  • Questioning spiritual and religious beliefs
  • Overactivity - keeping busy to try and avoid this new reality

These are all natural and normal grief responses. You are not going crazy when you feel them. You are grieving because you dared to love. 

The Montgomery Hospice Bereavement Care program supports individuals and families by providing general information about grief and loss, by answering questions and helping you find your own answers, by listening to your stories with all the mixed emotions, and by being a caring and reassuring presence.

(Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

I want to make a difference for those living with serious illness & loss in Montgomery County.

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