Martha is having difficulty sleeping lately and no longer enjoys doing things with her friends. Martha lost her husband of 26 years to cancer a month ago.
Anya, age 17, doesn’t feel like eating and spends the days in her room crying. Her grandmother recently died.
Both of these individuals are experiencing grief. Grief is an emotion natural to all types of loss or significant change.
Feelings of Grief
Although grief is unique and personal, a broad range of feelings and behaviours are commonly experienced after the death of a loved one.
Sadness. This is the most common, and it is not necessarily manifested by crying.
Anger. This is one of the most confusing feelings for a survivor. There may be frustration at not being able to prevent the death, and a sense of not being able to exist without the loved one.
Guilt and Self-reproach. People may believe that they were not kind enough or caring enough to the person who died, or that the person should have seen the doctor sooner.
Anxiety. An individual may fear that she/he won’t be able to for herself/himself.
Loneliness. There are reminders throughout the day that a partner, family member or friend is gone. For example, meals are no longer prepared the same way, phone calls to share a special moment don’t happen.
Fatigue. There is an overall sense of feeling tired.
Disbelief. This occurs particularly if it was a sudden death.
Helping Others Who Are Experiencing Grief
When a friend, loved one or co-worker is experiencing grief- how can we help? It helps to understand that grief is expressed through a variety of behaviours.
Reach out to others in their grief, but understand that some may not want to accept help and will not share their grief. Others will want to talk about their thoughts and feelings or reminisce.
Be patient and let the grieving person know that you care and are there to support him or her.
This is an excerpt from CBSE 10th English Textbook.