Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult and challenging experiences we go through in life. There are many emotions and reactions that can arise, and these vary among people as everyone deals with grief in his or her own way. There are also varying factors that can play a role in how we grieve for instance, how close your relationship was with the person, or if the death was sudden, unexpected or traumatic.
Though grief is different for everyone, there are some common experiences we often share that can help you to know what to expect during the grieving process. Keep in mind, you may experience everything listed below or just one or two, and in no particular order. Grief is not a chronological path, but rather an individual journey.
Common emotions and reactions to losing a loved one include:
- Shock and disbelief
- Guilt; wondering if you could have done something to prevent the death
- Depression and withdrawal
- Frequent crying; aching emptiness
- Inability to think clearly; a feeling of numbness
- Changes in appetite, weight, behaviors, and moods
- Physical ailments such as headaches, nausea, and exhaustion
- Feelings of fear and worry
It’s important to also remember that no timeline is attached to the process – everyone grieves at their own pace. Following a death, you can expect to mourn not just the physical loss of your loved one, but also the hopes and dreams you shared. There will be ups and downs good days and bad days, moments when you feel better and in control followed by moments of pain and feelings of helplessness. For healing to occur, it’s essential that all these emotions are released rather than suppressed or denied.
You may find it helpful to talk with someone, write in a journal, draw, listen to your loved one’s favorite music or participate in an activity that keeps the memories of your life together alive, such as planting a tree or starting a charity, running or walking in a race, or erected some type of memorial. All of these things can help you get through the rollercoaster of emotions and eventually arrive at acceptance and peace.
Many times this comes with the help of support from family and friends. You can also expect Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services to be with you every step of the way. Our compassionate staff is always here for you, understanding that the grieving process can take a variety of paths, and everyone’s needs are different.
To learn more you can contact Sytsema at 231-726-5210 in Muskegon or 616-842-6100 in Grand Haven. You can also download our free ebook to help guide you through your grief.