Common Reactions After A Loss

The following range of reactions are often experienced by bereaved persons. These emotions come in no specific order and an individual may have one feeling one moment and a different the next.

1. Shock or disbelief may interfere with decision making or provide a "cushion" allowing you to operate on automatic pilot.

2. You might feel numb or overwhelmed.

3. Sorrow and intense sadness may leave you wondering if you will ever feel happy or content again.

4. As you question your role in what happened you may feel guilty or to blame, a normal reaction in a society that tells us we can control our lives.

5. You may feel vulnerable and defenseless, wondering "why me?" or "what next?"

6. At times you may feel "crazy" or totally out of control.

7. You may feel relieved, that the worst is behind you, and experience few regrets and little grief.

8. Anger is a normal reaction. You may be angry at your care-provider, yourself, your partner, or even God.

9. Feeling down, "blue", joyless, tired and listless, or withdrawn are symptoms of depression associated with loss and grieving. These feelings are normal but suicidal feelings are not. Please contact your mental health agency if you or a loved one have suicidal thoughts or feel you may harm yourself or others.

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