How grief feels
Grief is different for all people and can bring a lot of strong feelings. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are some feelings that are common and normal to feel after a loss.
During a time of grief you might feel:
Sometimes grieving can make you feel some pain and discomfort in your body. You might notice that you feel:
- Exhausted and really tired.
- Heavy or weighed down.
- Flat, like you have no energy.
- Tightness in your chest, a heart ache.
- A headache or sore eyes.
- A sick stomach or guts ache.
If these physical feelings are really bothering you or last a long time you should visit your doctor.
Grieving can make people act differently; it’s good to be aware of the changes in our behaviour during times of grief. It’s different for everyone, but some common things people might do when grieving are:
- Crying a lot or not crying at all.
- Changes in how you sleep. Sleeping more than usual or having a hard time sleeping.
- Eating more or not eating enough.
- Drinking more alcohol than usual.
- Smoking more than usual.
- Using drugs that aren’t prescriptions from the doctor.
- Gambling more than usual and more than you can afford.
- Trying to be strong and take care of others, maybe forgetting to take care of themselves.
- Wanting to be alone and not spending as much time with people.
- Not wanting to be left alone, talking more and preferring to be close to people.
Pathways to healing
It’s important to look after yourself when you’ve had a loss. There are lots of things you can do to grieve and begin to heal:
- Make sure you give yourself time to heal. Grieving takes time.
- Spend time with trusted friends and family for yarning or just being there.
- Do activities that you find relaxing like listening to music, painting or writing.
- Practise culture.
- Visit your country.
- Talk to your ancestors.
- Take care of yourself and keep healthy by eating well, resting and exercising.
- Avoid drinking, smoking or using drugs.
- Try meditating or praying.