Archive for Grief and Loss

Normal Grief Symptoms

When you have experienced the loss of a loved one, you may experience:

Normal Grief Symptoms

  • Tightness in throat or heav­i­ness in chest.
  • Loss of appetite and emp­ty feel­ing in stom­ach.
  • Restlessness or dif­fi­cul­ty con­cen­trat­ing.
  • Wandering aim­less­ly.
  • Forgetfulness, inabil­i­ty to fin­ish things.
  • A need to take care of oth­ers’ dis­com­fort by not talk­ing about feel­ings of loss.
  • Mood changes over slight­est things.
  • Crying at unex­pect­ed times.
  • Feelings like loss didn’t real­ly hap­pen, that it is sur­re­al.
  • Difficulty sleep­ing.
  • Dreams of loved one.
  • Assuming man­ner­isms of loved one.
  • The need to tell and retell your expe­ri­ence of loved one’s death and things about that per­son.
  • Feelings of anger at loved one for leav­ing or at oth­ers.

Helpful Ways to Support Those Who Are Grieving

Statements that show you care:

Helpful Ways to Support Those Who Are Grieving

  • I’m sor­ry for your loss.
  • Is there any spe­cif­ic way I can help right now?
  • I can’t even imag­ine how much you are hurt­ing.
  • Can I call you and check in with you every so often?
  • I promise you I won’t go away.
  • Would you like to talk about it? I want to hear your sto­ry.
  • It’s OK with me if you cry.

It is normal to feel awkward around pain or suffering. Here are some ways to show support:

  • Be there in silence and let them have their feel­ings. Sometimes just sit­ting with some­one with­out hav­ing to say any­thing is the great­est gift you can give them.
  • Don’t stop mak­ing con­tact over the months (unless asked to). They will appre­ci­ate your care even if they can’t take you up on it yet. Sometimes it takes weeks or months before a griev­ing per­son is able to reach out for help. They may need your calls more after the first cou­ple of months.
  • Realize that although they may seem to be doing well, they have a lot of grief to work though.
  • Remember them dur­ing their “down times,” espe­cial­ly evenings and week­ends. Suggest a spe­cif­ic date to get togeth­er.
  • Feel free to use the name of the loved one who died. Encourage them to talk about it when they are ready.
  • Bring food or invite them to din­ner. Remember it may be hard for them to cook.
  • Go for walks togeth­er. Walking is good for depres­sion, and it helps to “walk off” feel­ings.
  • A hug or a hand squeeze can mean more than a few well-meaning words.
  • Let them know you val­ue them by spend­ing time togeth­er just being.