What is normal?

  We all have our own way of dealing with the death of someone who was significant to us. Bereavement is a natural process. There is no correct way to grieve.

 I’ve heard their voice and keep thinking I see them

It is quite normal to sense the presence a person who has died. It can often happen when you least expect it, as if the mind has temporarily ‘forgotten’ that they have died, or because the brain is trying to process the death and acknowledge the finality of it.


I’m so angry with everyone

Anger can be a normal part of grief. You may find yourself facing family, financial and domestic responsibilities which you don’t feel able to cope with. You may feel angry with someone you feel is responsible in some way for the death. You may feel angry with the person who has died for leaving you. These are all normal responses to feeling out of control, powerless and abandoned.


I feel anxious all the time

People often feel very anxious after someone dies, feeling alone and facing many things / situations without the support / guidance of the person they have lost.


I keep going over every detail of the last few days before they died

This is a common reaction, particularly where the death was sudden, unexpected, or occurred in traumatic circumstances. It is the mind’s way of dealing with what has happened.


I don’t feel anything

Feeling numb is common in the early days after a bereavement. The shock can have this effect, and some people at first carry on as if nothing has happened. It is hard to believe that someone important is not coming back. Many people feel disorientated - as if they have lost their place and purpose in life or are living in a different world.


I can't stop crying/I haven't cried at all

People react to grief in very different ways. Some people find they cry very frequently and may be overwhelmed by the strength of their emotions. Others may feel numb for some time, or feel unable to cry. Some people experience swings between extremes. All reactions are common. 


I should be over it but I feel worse than ever

. In the early days following a bereavement, family and friends often rally round and it is only later, when everyone has gone home and you are left with your grief, that the reality of the death hits you. The physical and emotional loneliness can be very hard to bear. There is no time limit on grief.



I feel like I’m physically ill

Grief can affect your whole system. There are other aches and pains which people often report after they have been bereaved. It can also affect your sleep and digestion and reduce your ability to fight off minor infections. These are normal reactions to distress and loss.