What is “Normal” When Talking about Grief?
Intense grief can be a new and frightening experience. Most people feel like strangers in unfamiliar, uncharted territory when experiencing grief for the first time. Fear of “going crazy” may prevent the griever from asking others if this experience of grief is normal.
The truth is that people grieve differently and one person’s experience may look very different from that of another.
Though everyone grieves in a unique way, certain thoughts, emotions and behaviors are almost universal to acute grief. Following are some of the most common:
- Overwhelming sadness and tearfulness
- Feelings of emptiness and loneliness
- Difficulty with concentration and memory
- Problems falling and/or staying asleep
- Changes in appetite
- Lack of energy and/or motivation
- Decreased interest in things that formerly held your interest
- Desire to withdraw socially from others
- Restlessness and/or increased anxiety
Just knowing these grief symptoms are normal may be enough to calm your fears. However, if you still have questions about your grief journey, attending a support group may help. Listening to the stories of other grievers can assist in understanding your own grief symptoms. Grief support services are available from affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice. Just connect with the Ohio’s Hospice affiliate closest to where you live for more information.
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