Losing a loved one can be one of the most difficult experiences in our lives. The loss of a loved one can throw you into a place of uncertainty. Allowing the time to grieve, reminisce, reflect and accept will help heal your emotional state. We heal by taking time to focus on the loss, and how it will affect us.
Grief differs from one person to another, and is a normal response to loss. The journey from initial shock and disbelief, to acceptance and emotional stability takes time. The amount of time it actually takes depends on the person. The grieving period can last from several weeks, to months and possibly years.
What is Grief?
Grief, in its simplest terms, is a reaction to loss. It affects us spiritually, behaviorally, physically and cognitively. Our response is affected by our culture, religion, gender and circumstances surrounding the loss. Bereavement is the way we process grief.
When coping with grief you might feel:
- Strong emotions, such as sadness, anger, helplessness and loneliness.
- Numbness, or a sense that the situation isn’t real.
- Physical reactions, such as insomnia or waves of nausea.
- Spiritual reactions to a death. Some people find themselves questioning their beliefs and feeling disappointed in religion, while others find that they feel more strongly than ever about their faith.
- Separation from family members and friends.
- A loss of interest in hobbies and melancholy.
- Memory loss, shortened attention span or difficulty communicating with others.
Other physical symptoms related to grief are:
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Headaches, chest pain or high heart rate
- Digestive problems
- Hair loss
- Night sweats