Grief Education
Children & Grief
Coping with Grief

Normal Signs of Grieving


Because grief can be so painful, and seem overwhelming, it frightens most people. Many people worry if they are grieving in the "right" way, and wonder if the feelings they have are normal. Here are some common feelings and behaviors people experience as they go through the grieving process.

As with common feelings of grief, not everyone will experience loss the same way; but most will feel at least some of the following.

  • assumption of the lost loved one's mannerisms or speech patterns

  • denial or disbelief that the loss occurred

  • feeling of emptiness in the stomach or abdomen

  • feelings of restlessness

  • heaviness in the chest

  • inability to complete tasks, even simple ones

  • inability to concentrate

  • intense anger at the departed loved one

  • loss of appetite

  • mood swings from anger to guilt

  • need to take care of others, to protect them

  • need to tell and retell stories about their loved one and the death experience

  • sensing or feeling the loved one's presence

  • sleep disruptions such as insomnia or extreme wakefulness

  • tightness in the throat

  • unexpected and unpredictable bouts of crying

  • wandering aimlessly through the house or neighborhood

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