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Common Responses to Grief

After the loss of a loved one you may experience some or all of these common responses to grief.
  • A feeling of tightness in the throat or heaviness in the chest.
  • An empty feeling in the stomach and possibly a loss of appetite.
  • Aimless wondering, forgetfulness, and inability to finish things you may have started around the house.
  • Restlessness or a need for activity.
  • An inability to concentrate on anything, or being easily distracted.
  • A need to retell and remember things about your loved one and the experience of their death.
  • A feeling that your loss is not real, that your loved one could not have actually died.
  • A tendency to assume the mannerisms or traits of your loved one.
  • A sense of your loved one’s presence. You may find yourself expecting the person to walk in the door at the usual time, think you hear their voice or see them in a crowd.
  • A need to take care of other people who seem uncomfortable around you by politely not talking about your feelings of loss.
  • An intense preoccupation with the life of the deceased.
  • Crying at unexpected times.
  • Intense anger at your loved one for leaving you.
  • Feeling that you are going crazy.
  • Difficulty sleeping. Frequent dreams about your loved one.
  • The feeling life has no meaning without your loved one.

These are all natural and normal grief responses, but they often make us feel not ourselves. It is important for you to find someone who will listen to you and make an effort to understand. Grief counseling can help you work through and express your grieving in a safe and supportive environment.

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