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There Is No “Normal” Reaction to Grief


Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Jan 14, 2017

There Is No “Normal” Reaction to Grief

We know about the stages of grief, about feeling angry, in denial, and finally acceptance. That guideline is more or less universal, in that most people will experience some of those feelings to greater or lesser degrees. However, there are far more emotions involved in the grieving process. It's common to worry about whether or not your response is “normal” or “correct.” The truth of the matter is that there is no normal when it comes to grief. What you feel is what you feel—but if you feel any of the following emotions, you are not alone.

You Feel Like You're Going Crazy

This is unquestionably a common feeling during a time of loss. You feel like you're losing your mind. The crushing combination of shock, grief, anger, and exhaustion is a killer. It leaves your head whirling and your equilibrium off-center. Your entire world feels as if it's off-keel. You're not going crazy. You're just going through so much right now; your mind doesn't always know how to cope.

You Want to Flee

The urge to escape, to get away from all the trappings of death, is also a “normal” reaction. There comes the point when you simply cannot take one more thing, even though you know that you don't have a choice. Don't panic if you feel like you want to get away from everyone and everything. You're not a bad person, and you're not abandoning your loved ones. Again, your mind just can't cope all the time. Occasionally, it needs a break from all the sadness.

You're Completely Numb

Numbness is alarming during a time of grieving because it makes you feel wrong, somehow, or even broken. You start to worry that your emotions are dead or that you aren't a good person because you can't currently feel anything. Your feelings are not dead, and you are a good person. Sometimes, your feelings just need to shut down for a while. The pain is too overwhelming. Your feelings will come back, likely with a vengeance. You are not broken—or, rather, perhaps you are, but time will heal those wounds.

You may feel remorseful, guilty, or anxious during a period of bereavement, as well. It's not at all uncommon to lack motivation or concentration, either. You may lash out at others or go through feelings of indifference. It's all normal. Your body and your mind are merely trying to cope with the tragedy.