Dealing with Grief & Loss

Shock, Denial, Numbness, Disbelief

-The pain exists, but you may not experience it fully yet. Your body, mind, and spirit take over to help you survive. Physiological symptoms can include: stomach aches, nausea, & insomnia

-Grief does not always get easier as time passes; you will have some days that are better than others.

Disorganization, Searching, and Yearning

- In grief, thoughts and behaviors are different from what you normally experience. You may feel: restlessness, agitation, disconnected thoughts, disorganization, forgetfulness, low work effectiveness, fatigue, lack of initiative, and ongoing confusion.

-Difficulty with eating and sleeping; painful feelings could appear through dreams that can cause difficulty with sleeping; fear of being alone in bed

-You might also experience a restless searching for the person who has died.

-Visual hallucinations are also very common

Anger and Fear

-Survival instincts: With loss often comes the desire to protest.

-Some people might feel anger towards their God or Higher Power.

-Thoughts about “going crazy” are common; panic attacks are common

-Fears of what the future holds; increased awareness of your own mortality; inability to concentrate

- You may be angry at yourself, God, the doctors, or even the person who died for leaving you.

Guilt & Regret

-Survival Guilt: sometimes being alive when someone else died can cause guilt.

-Relief-guilt syndrome: when you feel guilty for being relieved when someone dies.

-You may fear that being happy in some way betrays the relationship you once had.

-You may regret or feel guilty about things you did or didn’t say or do.

Loss, Emptiness, Depression

- The only way to lessen your pain is to move toward it, not away from it.

- Suicidal thoughts are common

Relief, Release

-The death may bring relief from suffering

- You might feel relief also if this person has caused a lot of hurt in your life.

Author's Bio: 

If you know someone who has recently experienced a loss or death of a loved one and might need additional support, feel free to contact me for a free 30 minute consultation.

Cristina Mardirossian, MA., LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist