Symptoms of Grief
Immediately following the loss of a loved one, bereaved family
members may typically be struck by a sense of disbelief and
distress. A loss of self-esteem and confidence may also occur. Many
bereaved people may also experience a bewildering range of
emotions, such as relief, guilt, laughter, anguish and anger.
The support of family and friends during this time is an
invaluable resource. Encourage the bereaved to express these
emotions. Give them the opportunity to talk, allow them to cry and,
when the conversation reveals some happy memories, don't be afraid
Any or all of these emotions are typical reflections of the
confusion and disruption that is being felt inside and should be
treated as a valuable part of the grief journey.
Physical symptoms of grief are also common and may include
sleeplessness, loss of appetite, tummy upset or chest pains. A
sense of numbness or disconnection may also be experienced.
The months after the initial impact will usually prove to be a
difficult and emotional time. The sense of disbelief has expired
and support from family and friends begins to ebb away. It can be
difficult to cope without this support.