I will not equate the length of my grieving period to the degree of my love. I will cry until I no longer need to cry, will grieve until I no longer need to grieve. And through it all my love will continue unchanged and undiminished. ~Author Unknown
Normal Grief Experiences
Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. Most of us are not prepared for the long journey of grief. It can be devastating, frightening and often lonely. Utah Hospice Specialists is committed to assisting you through the process of healing.
See the following for understanding grief:
• Stomach or belly hollowness, "butterflies", hunger, nausea, loss of appetite and other gastrointestinal disturbances.
• Weight loss or gain.
• Heart palpitations, trembling, or shaking; chest tightness and breathlessness (If these sensations become severe or are ongoing, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 if you have any uncertainty.)
• Throat pain or tightness, feeling like something is stuck in the throat.
• Dry mouth, increased perspiration.
• Shakiness, dizziness, or unsteady feelings.
• Decreased energy, initiative, and motivation.
• Overall weakness, physical exhaustion, lethargy or lack of strength.
• A feeling of emptiness or heaviness.
• Overly sensitive to noise.
• Nervousness, tension, agitation, irritability or other indications of anxiety.
• Sense of depersonalization: "Nothing seems real."
• Same physical symptoms as deceased's illness.
• Loss of pleasure.
• Decreased sexual desire or hyper-sexuality
• Sleep disturbances or difficulties (too much, too little, or interrupted sleep.)
• Appetite disturbances.
• Tearfulness, crying, and sighing.
• Absent-minded behavior.
• Searching behavior, expecting the deceased to be there.
• Social withdrawal.
• Marked increase or decrease in activity.
• Restlessness and searching for something to do.
• Increase in illness or accidents.
• Change in work performance: tardy, leaving early or working late, not meeting deadlines, shutting office door, eating alone, etc.
• Yelling or outbursts.
• Increased alcohol/drug/nicotine intake.
• Sloppy dressing, poor personal hygiene.
• Activity regarding the deceased: searching and calling out, visiting places or treasuring objects that remind the survivor of the deceased, talking to the deceased's picture or ashes.
• Disbelief: "Oh no!" "It's not happening to me."
• Confusion, forgetfulness.
• Preoccupation or obsessive thinking about the deceased.
• Finality: 'Things will never be the same." "I can't go back."
• Anger: "It's not fair." "Why did it happen?" "If only..." "I wish..."
• Forging ahead: "I have to make some decisions." "I have to get through it."
• Paranormal experiences: sense of presence, visual, tactile, olfactory, dreams.
• Dread: fear of own or another's death.
• Suicidal: "Life has no meaning." (If you have these thoughts or feelings, please seek out professional help.)