Feelings of grief is to be expected after we lose someone or something we care about. This might be the loss of a loved one, a job, an important relationship, functional ability after an accident, or a beloved pet. It can also occur after a change in your way of life. Feeling grief is a normal response to a life event when you have lost something important. It takes time to adjust and to learn to live life in a different way.
There is no ‘right’ way to grieve. The intensity of grief differs from person to person, and the way each person reacts to grief also differs. It’s common to feel sad or ‘down’. Other emotional reactions to grief vary a lot. One might feel shock, denial or numbness, anger or guilt, relief, self-blame, stress, anxiety, confusion, exhaustion, loneliness, withdrawal, hopelessness. There can be physical reactions to loss and grief, including headaches, changed sleep or eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, nausea, or not enjoying what you would normally enjoy.
Some of the ways to adjust to the loss of something or someone important in your life includes: allowing yourself time to grieve, which might mean taking time out from your normal routine. Postpone major decisions until you can think clearly again. Try to eat well and exercise. Let others help you, express your feelings to a trusted family member or friend.
Sometimes when it is hard to move on, or the experience of grief feels too much, then seeking professional help may be needed. A clinical psychologist is equipped to provide the support and understanding that can help when your grief feels too much, or continues.