What to Expect When You are Grieving

What are normal reactions when someone you love dies?

Grief can be very painful and overwhelming, and sometimes frightening. As you grieve, you may worry about your reactions. You may wonder if your feelings and reactions are normal. Below are some of the commonly felt grief responses as reported by many bereaved persons.

senior woman with thoughtful expression

You may feel a
variety of emotions:

  • Sadness

  • Anxiety

  • Guilt

  • Anger

  • Denial

  • Numbness and shock

You may experience
sensations such as:

  • Tightness in the throat

  • Heaviness in the chest

  • Loss of appetite

  • Mood swings

  • Extreme forgetfulness

  • Excessive fatigue

You may act
out of character:

  • Crying at unexpected times

  • Overeating

  • Undereating

  • Wandering aimlessly

  • Questioning spiritual beliefs

These are all natural and normal grief responses. You are not going crazy when you feel them. You are grieving because you loved.

The Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice Bereavement Care program supports individuals and families by providing general information about grief and loss, by answering questions and helping you find your own answers, by listening to your stories with all the mixed emotions, and by being a caring and reassuring presence.