We experience bereavement with any sort of loss, including loss through the death of a loved one and grief is the spectrum of emotions which accompany that loss.
We can feel many different emotions when we are grieving and sometimes it can be difficult to make sense of them. We may feel shocked, sad, angry, depressed, empty, physically unwell, maybe relieved, confused or guilty. We may have changes in our sleeping patterns and appetite. We may feel different from how we expect or how others expect us to feel. We may find it difficult to do normal things or we may not feel we are being very efficient. We may have different emotional responses as time goes by, and we may find our emotions fluctuate wildly during the day.
If someone close to you has died, you may find yourself searching for them,
seeing or sensing them, you may talk to them and / or dream about them. Alternatively, you may have a very strong sense of their absence.
One common feeling people have when they are grieving is the fear they are going mad, but grief is an emotional journey which is a necessary and a normal response to a traumatic event.
Different people need different things at different times when they are grieving. It’s worth considering who you can talk to – friends, family or a professional such as a counsellor. Others need more time on their own – this can be helpful although it is important not to isolate yourself.
Grieving usually lasts longer than people expect and does not have a specific end point. A recent loss can also reawaken past losses which can make the
experience more complicated. Grief can also feel more complicated if the relationship with the person who has died was difficult or ambivalent.
Grief is painful and that pain can’t be taken away, but there is support available to you.