Grief is the normal range of feelings and emotions you experience when someone dies. But grief is expressed differently depending on many factors – so you are unlikely to grieve in the same way as your partner, siblings or friends. This is completely normal so don’t compare your feelings to others as it won’t be helpful.
Grief produces lots of different emotions – often one after the other, but not in any fixed order
This is very common especially at a funeral but also at times before and after. Tears can be caused by lots of different triggers and this is quite normal.
The initial feeling of sadness is easy to see but with time this can lead you to dwell on the past and focus on what you’ve lost. These feelings are normal to start with but shouldn’t continue to dominate your life as time goes on.
This is where anger becomes dangerous rage or suicidal thoughts creep in. If this is you, seek help urgently – the Samaritans are available to talk to you at any hour of the day or night on 116 123.
It’s not fair. Grief can make people very angry. You might be angry at the world, the doctors, at God, even at the person dying. Or just plain angry.
This is a normal response to grief provided it doesn’t turn into a dangerous rage. It’s not good to remain angry for long and you may need to speak to someone or get help to move forward.
If someone has been ill for a long time, you may feel relief or happiness when they die. You may feel guilty for not feeling sad. Don’t feel guilty. In many cases where there’s been a long illness, death is a welcome relief and your feelings of relief or happiness are valid responses.
You think friends and family won’t understand. This might be because everyone reacts differently. But even if friends and family are dealing with their grief in different ways, most will be understanding and happy to listen or talk. Being on your own for long periods at a time when you’re grieving isn’t good for you as you can go round in circles with your own thoughts.
It’s not fair! Grief can make people very angry. You might be angry at the world, the doctors, at God, even at the person for dying. Or just angry.
This is a normal response to grief provided it does not turn in to a dangerous rage. With time, however, it is not good to remain angry for long and you may need to speak to someone or get help to move forward.
Some people feel nothing or become so busy they don’t allow themselves to grieve as a coping mechanism. You may be working on ‘autopilot’ or not even processing what’s happened. As a short-term approach, this is normal and you may experience other emotions later.
Talking to a supportive and trained third party can be hugely helpful to anyone suffering from symptoms of grief. Talking it through, understanding your response and the different responses of those around you will help give you perspective and allow you to move on with your life.