Responses to Grief

Responses to grief are emotional and physical and vary from person to person. Common responses to grief include:

Disbelief - Seeing and feeling the loss is painful so you try to protect yourself by denying the truth. You become numb, go into emotional shock.

Anger - You may be angry at yourself for not preventing the loss or at the person who died for deserting you. You may blame someone or God for not protecting you or your loved ones. You may feel hurt or frustrated with a situation you cannot change.

Guilt - You may blame yourself for not doing the right thing. Unresolved conflicts with the deceased or feelings you never shared can add to guilt.

Sadness - Deep sorrow and a sense of loss may lead to sometimes uncontrollable tears.

Anxiety - You may feel anxious or panicked. You may feel unable to face the future or new and frightening feelings. You may even thing, "I must be going crazy."

Depression - You may feel isolated, helpless, and hopeless. You may withdraw from other people and feel no one can help you.

Relief - If you've been expecting the loss for some time, you may be relieved when it happens.

Dreams - Dreaming about the lost person or thing may comfort or upset you. Dreams can signal an emotional conflict you should try to resolve.

Physical - You may have trouble sleeping or breathing. Your sleeping patterns or appetite may change. You may sigh a lot, lack energy, or be restless. You may develop a cold or minor infection or suffer a more serious illness, even a heart attack.