Intense grief can be a new and frightening experience. Most people feel like strangers in unfamiliar territory when experiencing grief for the first time. Fear of “going crazy” may prevent grievers from asking others if their 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. The following are some of the most common:
- Overwhelming sadness and tearfulness
- Feelings of emptiness and loneliness
- Difficulty with concentration and memory
- Problems falling or staying asleep
- Changes in appetite
- Lack of energy or motivation
- Decreased interest in things that formerly held interest
- Desire to withdraw socially from others
- Restlessness or increased anxiety
Just knowing that 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.
The Pathways of Hope Center at Ohio’a Hospice of Dayton offers a variety of grief support groups as well as individual counseling. All services are available at no cost thanks to generous community support. Please call 937.258.4991 for information.