What Does It Feel Like to Grieve
The death of a loved one can cause many feelings and behavioral reactions. These may come and go throughout the grieving process. Many are natural, normal and even necessary. Everyone grieves in their own unique way; there is no "right way" to grieve. Grieving is not a sign of weakness or failure. It is not something to ignore or "get over."
Some of the common reactions to the death of a loved one include:
- Being in shock or denial. Feeling numb or like you are "going through the motions"
- Feeling sad and crying a lot
- Telling the story of how they died again and again
- Not being able to talk about the person or the death
- Feeling helpless and powerless
- Having trouble sleeping; being scared to go to sleep; wanting to sleep a lot
- Having head or stomach aches
- Feeling guilty: "It was my fault," "I could have prevented this."
- Feeling angry, confused, frustrated, and/or quick to get into a fight
- Not wanting to stay home alone or feeling afraid to be alone
- Withdrawing from friends. Not wanting to go out as much.
- Dreaming about the death, having nightmares about the person and death details
- Wanting to be with the person who died
- Finding it difficult to concentrate on work or school
- Worrying about, "Who is going to die next?"
- Feeling confused at experiencing relief if the illness or circumstances surrounding the death were long or painful
- Feeling distressed that the pain, sadness and grief aren't going away
If you, your friends or family would like to talk to someone, please contact the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing at (202) 624-0010.