Common Grief Reactions

Grief is a natural response to loss. It can be felt in many ways. Grief’s impact can be emotional, social, spiritual, physical and financial. It is as individual as the person you loved and lost. Grieving while living away from family and friends can be especially difficult. This is a place where you can share your thoughts, and get ideas on how to cope. It is here for you to get support and validation.

Common Grief Reactions

Postby dscowan » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:32 am

Grief is a normal, necessary, natural reaction to any loss. It is a roller coaster of emotions that involves physical, social, behavior, intellectual and spiritual responses. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person grieves differently, in their own way and on their own timetable.

Some common grief reactions include shock, longing, sadness, anger, guilt and regrets, relief, sleeplessness, changes in appetite, forgetfulness and inability to concentrate. Shock and numbness is a typical grief reaction. You may feel as if you are on autopilot or just going through the motions. It takes the mind time to grasp that death has occurred. It can feel as if you are in a fog and it may several weeks for the fog to lift.

What has been the most challenging for you since the death of your loved one?
dscowan
 
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby ncarlone » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:00 pm

I recently lost my great grandfather and great grandmother. I've lost them both within six months of each other. The hardest thing for me has been seeing my grandpa so upset and cry. I've never seen him or any of the males in my family upset like they have been. Could you give me some advice on what I could say to comfort them?
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby dscowan » Mon May 14, 2012 12:53 pm

It is difficult to see someone you love hurting. It is good that your grandfather is able to express himself. Some men are unable to express their feelings of grief through tears or emotions and often express it by "doing things" such as fixing something or planning. Speak from your heart and let the males in your life know you want to hear the stories. Sometimes you don't need to say anything at all. Just your presence can be comforting.
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby eradams » Thu May 17, 2012 1:08 pm

The most challenging part for me is just getting through the day-to-day. Simple tasks that we use to do together, having a family dinner, having that someone to share my life with. Now, I feel completely alone. I go through moods of sadness, anger, fear, and hopelessness. Can you provide me with any coping strategies I can use?
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby dscowan » Thu May 31, 2012 9:31 am

Below are some coping strategies you may find helpful. I am hopeful that other readers will add what works for them.
•Maintain as normal a schedule as possible
•Follow the basics for good health (even when you don’t feel like it) – rest, eat well, exercise
•Reduce other stressors as much as possible - make to do lists, be patient with yourself when you can’t find your keys, limit distractions that might interfere with concentration
•Be aware of numbing the pain with overuse of drugs or alcohol; go easy on caffeine
•Talk to people – reach out, spend time with others
•Do things that feel good to you – take a walk, listen to music, keep a feelings journal, etc.
•Give yourself permission to feel the pain and share these feelings with others
Seek professional help if anger, anxiety and depression persist, worsen or begin to interfere with your life, job or relationships.
dscowan
 
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby doodle1 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:21 am

I recently lost my husband of 25 years. He was in Hospice care at Hospice House for a month. He really wanted to come home during his stay at Hospice House. It was not possible to get the 24 care that he required at home. I feel very guilty and sad that I could not bring him home as his final living wish. How do I handle these feelings of sadness and guilt?
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby KarenH » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:29 pm

@doodle1 - I'm so sorry for your loss. The decisions you made regarding your husband's care in his final days could not have been easy. It's very common for people to have lingering feelings of guilt when the way or location in which care was provided differs from what they or the patient might have envisioned. Though you clearly made the best decisions you could using the information and resources you had, it may take some time for your feelings of guilt and sadness to subside. I encourage you to talk about your grief with trusted friends, family members and/or professionals, and to be gentle with yourself as you move through these months. You noted that your husband was a patient at Hospice House, so please feel free to utilize the bereavement coordinator that is available to you. She is eager to help support you at this time. Perhaps other readers here will share things they have found helpful in similar situations?
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby VickieK » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:46 pm

I am in the same boat as "doodle1" is in.. I lost my significant other after a brief stay
in Hospice House. He begged for me to take him home and I feel he just gave up & passed away.. I feel so very guilty- all he asked was to be able to die at home- and- I didn't allow that to happen. It has been 6months- and- I still can't sleep or get through the day without crying because of the guilt.. I just don't know what to do..
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby doodle1 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:44 am

My heart goes out to VickieK... we are both experiencing the same reactions to the same situation. I did talk to my bereavement counselor and I found that to be of some help, but I am still having a very hard time with this. She did remind me that I did what I needed to do and there really were no other choices at the time. One choice I did have was to put him in a nursing home, which I would NEVER have done. I guess if that was my only choice, I would have worked something else out. But when you are going through this unbeleavable, unforgettable experience, there is no time to try to work out too many choices. I did the BEST that I could for him at the time. He received very good care while he was there, that was not the problem. He just wanted to come home and it breaks my heart that I could not provide that last wish for him. I pray every night for his foregiveness. Knowing him the way I did I am sure he forgave me long before his passing. But, there is no way for me to know this for sure. I have taken up journaling (a suggestion from the bereavement counselor) and I think that helps to get some of these thoughts and concerns written down. Maybe VickieK can try this to see if it helps her too.

I still have trouble coping with the day to day tasks that need to be done. He was the "outside" guy and now all of this has fallen onto my shoulders. With fall here the outside workload is very heavy and demanding, but I am trudging through it. I do have a lot of family and friend support, but it just isn't the same, as you can imagine.

I still think about him all the time. Now my thoughts are not so much about the death and dying process and the end of his life, but they are starting to include happier times. I have this message written down and I read it several times a day "The worst is over!"..... it seems to help me get through the day, I hope it will help you too.
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Re: Common Grief Reactions

Postby VickieK » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:43 pm

It has been 8 months now.. I still go to bed EVERY night crying & wake up EVERY morning crying.. I did join a "Circle of Hope" support group & it helped for the 6 weeks that I went. I now joined a monthly group that I hope will continue to help..
I just can't get pass the GUILT I feel from the day he passed.. Every time I think of a happy memory of our 20 years together- the last days of his life jump in & I start to lose it again.. It's so hard, as I know you all know too.. I do NOT think I will ever forgive myself for letting him go the way he did..
Thank you for understanding how I feel. It helps to know I am not alone in my grief. it helps to know what I am feeling is being felt by others who have lost their partners.
He was my one & only Love.. the one we all hope we find someday.. I miss him so much sometimes I think I am going crazy!! I cry! I scream! I yell! WHY?? I know he
just gave up & I can't help feeling 100% responsible!!
I have started a journal, too. It does help-but- I find myself writing to him & telling him things like he is still here & going to actually read it.. I was looking at a magazine & picking out presents for him at Christmas!! Then, it hits me.. again..
I know in time he will be a sweet memory. I know I will survive his loss & get on with my life. What I don't know is if I will EVER forgive myself..
Thank you for responding to my text.. it helps..
VickieK
 
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