It has been well-established that everyone experiences grief differently. That is, in part, what makes dealing with it so challenging. That is not to say, however, that there are some similar traits, feelings, and emotions that those who are grieving share.
Here is a list of four common emotions that can follow grief:
This may seem a bit simple and even obvious, but a sense of overwhelming sadness can be common. Much of this sadness is for ourselves as we think about the personal loss we have just suffered. This sadness can come in waves as well as when we may say to ourselves, “Bill would have liked this”, or “Mary loved this song.” Sadness may also reappear at the random realization that a loved one is really gone. The point is that sadness is common with grief. Overwhelming grief, however, that lingers and is making it difficult to live life can be problematic.
It is common for loneliness to come with grief, especially if the deceased was a spouse or close friend you spent plenty of time with. This may be a person you had unique experiences with and shared vacations, meals, and secrets with. Loneliness can compound itself when the grieving person isolates themselves. The best cure for loneliness is, of course, other people, but only at a pace the grieving person is comfortable with. A grieving person should be encouraged and invited to socialize, but not forced. A lonely person may have too much time by themselves which is often spent recycling sadness.
Apathy is a feeling of helplessness and lack of interest. It is frequently accompanied by thoughts of “What does it matter?”, “I don’t care” or “Whatever.” Apathy is not only a feeling of helplessness but can also be a sign of a lack of energy. Apathy can be battled by having plans to look forward to and making sure the grieving person is eating properly and getting enough sleep. A renewed interest in an old hobby or craft can also be helpful.
Anger is common with grief as we look for someone or something to blame for the death of a loved one. It can be a doctor, a hospital, a relative, a religious figure, or even God. We may even recognize that our anger is irrational, but it serves as a coping mechanism and helps us in our quest to make sense of the situation. Anger is frequently replaced with at least some form of acceptance, but when it continues, it can be harmful.
While all of the above emotions are common with grief, it is when they are severe, continuing, and interfering with everyday life that they should be addressed. If socializing and talking with friends doesn’t provide some relief, consider joining a support group or even seeking counseling.
It is important to remember that grief is a uniquely personal experience. If you are suffering, show some patience with yourself. Give yourself permission to grieve and be forgiving to yourself. If emotions appear severe or lingering, seek the assistance you deserve.
At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, we often see people at their emotional low points. We understand that patience, understanding, and helpfulness can go a long way in the healing process. If you are in a current need or are interested in preplanning, we encourage you to reach out to us.