Losing someone close to you is a highly distressing experience, associated with a range of powerful emotions.
Grief is a very complex and intensely personal set of feelings. It is not just one feeling – it’s often many emotions that follow on from one another but not in any order.
If the person you’ve been caring for has died, bereavement brings with it a number of different losses:
Grief is a very complex and intensely personal set of feelings. It is not just one feeling – it’s often many emotions that follow on from one another but not in any order. The charity, Marie Curie, lists some of the emotions that people often report feeling when they are grieving. You may feel:
The charity, Cruse Bereavement Support, explains that grief can also affect us physically in several ways. You may find that your appetite has changed, that you’re having difficulty sleeping, that you have no energy or you’re having difficulty concentrating. It is also common to feel heart palpitations or physical pain after someone close to you dies.
The charity, Mind, points out that people who are bereaved by suicide can have a particularly complex set of feelings and can experience additional struggles and dilemmas in trying to resolve their grief.
There is no right or wrong way to feel when someone close to you dies. You may not feel some of these things. Or you may feel something else entirely. You may find that your mood changes quickly, or that you feel differently in different situations and at different times. People who have been bereaved often say they feel ‘up and down’, or ‘all over the place’, or that they have a ‘roller coaster’ of emotions. Grief can be lonely – and can lead to depressing thoughts and even thoughts of suicide. It is alright to experience, and to express, these thoughts.
When you’re in the midst of grief, it can feel overwhelming. During this time, it is important to be kind to yourself – and do what feels right for you. It will take time to work out who you are in this new phase of your life. However, some things that other people have found helpful to ease the pain of grief are:
The charity, Mind, has a number of suggestions for things you can try outdoors to support your mental health.
If you have recently been bereaved by suicide, you may find it helpful to talk through what you are feeling. See the links below to where to get more help.
Some people find that their feelings of grief do not lessen, and they find it difficult to manage daily activities. For example, they might struggle to go to work, to look after children or socialise with friends. If you’re experiencing this or you are finding it hard to cope, speak to your GP.