The impact of grief can cause tremendous chaos to all aspects of our life. We all respond differently to grief but the most important thing to remember is that most reactions are normal. Sometimes we find these responses overwhelming but knowing they are normal helps us to come to terms with the changes.

It is also important to note that there is no fixed timetable for these reactions. Of course if general functioning is inhibited by any or some of these responses, you should seek medical advice. Below is a list of emotions that you may experience: remember that not all people in this situation will experience all the reactions listed.


  1. Change in appetite
  2. Tightness in chest
  3. Headaches
  4. Fatigue and lack of energy
  5. Nausea, diarrhea, indigestion
  6. General aches


  1. Sleeplessness
  2. Lack of motivation
  3. Crying (often unexpectedly)
  4. Social withdrawal
  5. Hyperactivity
  6. Reckless behaviour (e.g. excessive drinking)


  1. Shock, numbness, disbelief
  2. Self blame, guilt
  3. Depression
  4. Anger
  5. Anxiety, panic
  6. Loneliness
  7. Relief or Indifference
  8. Fear


  1. Confusion
  2. Poor concentration
  3. Pre-occupation with the loss
  4. Seeing or hearing the person
  5. Dreams of the person who died


  1. Anger toward God
  2. Consolation by belief in God
  3. Seeking meaning of loss
  4. Examining meaning of life
  5. Strengthening in belief