Grieving is a natural process that can take place after any kind of loss. When a loved one passes away this can be a very overpowering emotion that has to run its course. There are a whole succession of different feelings that can take some time to go through and must not be hurried. Although people are all individuals, the order in which they go through these feelings is very similar. For some hours or days following the death of someone who is close, most people feel totally stunned. A feeling of disbelief is common, even if the death has been expected, say after a long period of illness. This feeling of emotional numbness can actually be a help in dealing with the various practical arrangements that have to be made.


Another common feeling is guilt. It is likely that the may even consider what they could have done to beyond the control of anyone, and they must be reminded of this.


Guilt is often experienced if a sense of relief is felt when someone has died, particularly after a distressing illness. This feeling of relief is perfectly natural and very common and is nothing to feel guilty about. These strong/confusing emotions are generally felt for about two weeks or so after the death and are generally followed by periods of sadness and depression.


After the feeling of numbness has gone it is often person who has died. This can effect the bereaved in their everyday life, it may be difficult to relax, concentrate or even sleep properly. Some people experience extremely disturbing dreams, others say that they actually see their loved ones everywhere they go, more commonly in the places they used to spend time together. It is also quite usual to feel angry at this time – towards doctors and medical staff for not preventing the death, towards people around them such as friends and relatives, or even towards the person who has left them.​​

Grief throughout the years​

Grief can be sparked off many months after the death by things that bring back memories. It can be difficult for other people to understand or cope with someone who bursts into tears for no apparent reason. Some people who can’t deal with this, tend to stay away at the time they are needed most of all. It is best to return to a normal life as soon as possible, try to resume normal activities. The phrase ‘Time is a great healer’ is in most cases certainly true, however the pain of losing a loved one never entirely disappears, nor should it be expected to.​