What is grief?

Grief is what we feel when someone dies. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There are, though, some common feelings people may experience

  • Shock – it can be hard to believe that someone has died. Shock can leave you feeling numb and confused. It may take some time to be able to make sense of a person’s death and to realise that they are not coming back.
  • Physical feelings – people can experience physical changes to their appetite or sleep routine and can experience physical illness and pain.
  • Sadness – sadness and, at times, a depressed mood are common experiences. The meaning previously found in life can be lost for a time and people can even feel like they want to die too.
  • Loneliness – people can feel completely alone, partly because of the loss of the person and the role they had in their life, but also because they feel others do not understand or are expecting them to recover and carry on with living.
  • Guilt – at times, people may wish they had spent more time with the person who has died, or wish they could have done something to alleviate their pain or suffering. Guilt can also be experienced if someone has had a difficult or confusing relationship with the person who has died.
  • Anger – anger can be experienced when it is hard to make sense of the circumstances of someone’s death, or when the death seems unjustified or unfair. People can feel angry with themselves, other people, the person who has died, or the world in general.
  • Longing – longing to have the person back is a common experience. At times, people may think they have seen or heard the person who has died. These experiences can be comforting, frightening or confusing, but they are a way in which the brain is trying to process and make sense of the death.
  • Relief – sometimes people feel relieved that the person who has died is no longer suffering.

How to access bereavement support

You can ask your GP to refer you, or you can contact the service yourself. 

If you need further information about our Psychology and Bereavement service, please contact us by phoning (01983) 217346.