The experience of bereavement or loss can be very varied and your response to it is unique to you. It is quite normal to feel angry or sad when a loved one dies or leaves. Even the loss of a pet can have a major psychological effect, as they are often like a family member. You may feel grief, anger, loneliness or denial as a result of loss and bereavement. Working through these feelings with a therapist could help you to understand the feelings better and grow around your grief.
Grief is something that doesn’t go away completely but we can learn to accept the power of that grief and find a way to cope. We never forget the person we have lost but we can come to an understanding of what the loss means to us and find a way through it.
Grief can give us a lot of feelings that are unexpected and they can be quite frightening.
- Feeling helpless, fearful, empty, irritable and restless.
- Panic attacks
- feelings of guilt and regret
- Physical pain
- Lack of ability to concentrate or focus
- Changes in appetite, sleep patterns or sexual drive
- If onlys and what ifs
- Prone to illness
- Lack of tears
- Asking why
- Loss of time
- It feels like you “are going crazy.”
- Not understood and like no one could ever feel the amount of pain you are in
- Unable to function
- Feeling and being physically sick
- Suicidal thoughts
- The need for alcohol, food, drugs or nicotine to numb the pain
- This list is not exhaustive but It can help to know that you are not alone and that these feelings are normal.
There are many stages of grief but we don’t all experience them the same.
Grief is personal and nobody can tell us how we are or should be feeling.
We have to be allowed to ‘just be’