Grieving is a natural process that can take place after any kind of loss. When someone we love dies we can be left with overpowering feelings, which have to run their course. There are a whole succession of different feelings that can take some time to go through and must not be hurried. Although people are all individuals, the order in which they go through these feelings is very similar.
For some time following the death of someone who is close, most people feel totally stunned. A feeling of disbelief is common, even if the death has been expected (say after a long period of illness). This feeling of numbness can actually be a help in dealing with the various practical arrangements that have to be made, but this detachment from reality can become a problem if it goes on for too long.
To overcome this feeling of numbness for some people it can help to see the person who has died. It is not until the funeral that the reality of what has happened finally sinks in. Although it may be distressing to attend the funeral or to see the body, it is important to say goodbye to the one we loved.
It is often the case for people who did not do this to experience a great feeling of regret for years to come. After the feeling of numbness has gone, it is often replaced for a sense of agitation and a yearning for the person who has died. This can affect the bereaved in their everyday life, it may be difficult to relax, concentrate or sleep properly.
Some people experience disturbing dreams, others feel they see their loved one everywhere they go and especially in the places that they used to spend time together. It is also quite usual to feel angry at the time, may be towards the person who has left them. Another common feeling is guilt. It is likely that the bereaved will go over in their mind all the things that they wished that they had said or done. In some cases they may even consider what they could have done to have prevented the death. Of course death is usually beyond the control of anyone and they must be reminded of this.
There is a list of care associations who can help support you through your grieving by clicking here.