Coping with grief

It can be hard to accept death and we may feel overwhelmed and confused by new and unexpected emotions we are unable to control.  Even if we were expecting the death it still often comes as a great shock when the person dies. Part of the grieving process is trying to make sense of something that may seem senseless.

Its normal to initially feel numb and in a state of shock, feeling like this can lead to a sense of being very alone and separated from other people and what’s going on around us. Life at this point can feel very empty and chaotic.

As time moves on grief may catch us by surprise and we might suddenly become angry or full of regret for things that we could have done differently.  People who are grieving can become depressed, loose their appetite, be exhausted without being able to sleep and be unable to concentrate.  It can be hard to complete tasks and trying to solve problems can create anxiety and panic. This can be especially challenging as there may be many practical things that need to be done.

You may find yourself feel lonely and isolated;  friends may have drifted away while you were caring for the person who was ill, it can be hard to socialise if you are feeling low, and people, naturally, get back to their everyday lives.

Grieving very often takes much more time than we think it should, and its often unhelpful to compare our own experience with others as each persons coping style will be different and there are no hard and fast rules on how to grieve.

When to ask for help

Although the pain of grief is a normal part of living, the emotional adjustment after such a major life event is a process that may continue for many years and there will be no quick fixes.  

It’s natural to feel impatient or to worry about others who don’t seem to be managing their grief well, so if you are concerned it can be helpful to seek advice. 

The list below offers a checklist of behaviour and symptoms that may point towards seeking professional help sooner rather than later

  • Difficult thoughts and feelings become increasingly more Intense
  • Loss of interest in everyday activity
  • Depression and or anxiety which intrudes on normal activities
  • Loss of interest in health and personal care
  • Avoidance of memories of the deceased
  • Need to be excessively busy for a prolonged period of time
  • Isolation and an inability to be with other people
  • Replacing loss and relationship quickly
  • Thoughts of self harm and or suicide
To speak to a member of our Family Support team, please call  01462 679540.

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