Grief

Grief is our response to loss. It is the normal and natural response to loss, and it can affect every part of our life, including our thoughts, behaviours, beliefs, feelings, physical health and our relationships with others.

Everyone grieves in their own way. It is individual and personal. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to grieve and grief has no timeline. When people grieve they are coming to terms with what has changed in their lives.

There are many things we may experience and all are a 'normal response'.

Some examples are:

Feelings of:

  • Sadness

  • Anxiety, panic

  • Anger, irritability

  • Disbelief

  • Relief

  • Numbness​

Psychical symptoms:

  • Difficulty in sleeping

  • Fatigue/tiredness

  • Lack of appetite

  • Headaches

  • Nausea

  • Aches and pains

Social:

  • A loss of interest in things you used to enjoy.

  • A lack of interest in outings, seeing friends, or doing your household chores, shopping, meals, etc.

  • A lack of interest in what's happening in the world.

  • Being over-protective of close family and friends.

Looking After Yourself

Taking the time to look after yourself can help you cope on a daily basis.

Below are some suggestions that you may find helpful.

  • Ensure you maintain normal routines where possible e.g. regular meals, adequate sleep, exercise.

  • Allow people to help you.

  • Do things that are relaxing or soothing e.g. reading, listening to music, making a special place to reflect, gardening, walking, having a massage, meditating.

  • Sharing your memories, stories, thoughts and feelings with friends and family can reduce the sense of isolation and loneliness that comes with grief.

  • Try to delay making major decisions that cannot be reversed such as selling a home or giving away belongings. The early months can be filled with many emotions and may not be the best time to make these decisions.

  • Allow yourself to express your thoughts and feelings privately, e.g. keeping a journal, collecting photos, drawing, writing a letter or a poem.

  • Consider joining a support group to share with others who have had similar experiences.

Most people find that with the support of their family and friends and their own resources, they gradually find ways to learn to live with their loss and do not need to seek professional help.

Sometimes , however, the circumstances of a death may have been particularly distressing such as a traumatic or sudden death, or there may have been other situations in your life which make your grief complicated.

If you are finding it hard to manage on a daily basis, it may be helpful to

speak to your local doctor who may talk to you about support from other health professionals e.g. counsellor, psychologist.