The Emotions of Grief
October 13th, 2008 by

When you least expect it, you may find yourself overwhelmed by tears. You may sob uncontrollably. Or you may quietly feel tears dripping down your face and find yourself seeing through stinging eyes.

Just as quickly the tears can stop. You may even find yourself laughing or smiling.

The emotions of grief can be very unpredictable. And there may be inner confusion about whether the tears are from sadness or sweet remembrance of your loved one.

While these common characteristics of grief can be very painful and quite overwhelming, they are very normal responses to grief and loss. But normal does not mean pleasant.

The unpredictable feelings of grief can be really draining.

How do you handle the emotional roller coaster of grief?

3 Responses to “The Emotions of Grief”

  1. Daw Says:

    I try to let the feelings and tears come when they want to. One day I’m fine, the next day grief will hit me like a rock and I’ll cry over nothing. I just passed the one year mark since my husband died (October 11). I was feeling ok on the day but the next day I crashed. Strange thing, grief is.

    I also look back over the past year and it seems like I’ve been in a hospital trying to recover from a trauma; now, they’ve released me and sent me home to continue healing. It’s just beginning. I’m not as far along in my grief journey as I thought I was.

  2. Maria Says:

    In response to the question, my answer is “badly.” I lost my husband on 22 February 2007 and it still feels fresh and raw. I manage to get through most days by simply putting one foot in front of the other; however, it feels as though I’m dragging myself upstream against the current or I’m trying to navigate in a fog.
    One of the ways I’ve tried to describe grief is as follows: imagine carrying a huge rock around with you everywhere you go. You can’t set it down, it’s too big to throw away and there’s only one way to carry it. When you try to go to sleep, it sits on your chest and keeps you from breathing. Perhaps I’ll be able to chip away at it as time goes on; friends tell me I’m “doing well” since I’ve actually laughed on a few occasions.
    What no one knows, however, is that I haven’t felt true joy/happiness/lightness of being since my status changed to Widow. When my husband died, he took my life spark with him.
    I pretend that everything’s OK, but it’s not. It’ll never be truly OK again and I find it hard to believe that I’ll ever be OK again.
    I don’t cry at the office; I sometimes cry in public; I usually cry in my car (BTW, I advise against that if you’re on a winding road with no shoulders) wherever I’m going and often out of the blue for no apparent reason except the realization of how huge and ireparable this loss is. It’s an odd thing to know that my life — and who I was as a person — stopped on 2/22/2007. I grieve the life I lost and the loss of the man I loved, still do and always will.
    I have no advice to give on grieving and coping with loss. All I can share is my experience and hope that it helps someone else feel as though she’s not alone in this process. We all grieve in our own ways — my grief is understandable only to me — since we are all unique in our own ways. A common thread unites those who’ve experienced this loss, but the qualities of my thread are different from everyone else’s. There’s no timeline with milestones to meet in the grieving process: it takes as long as it takes. I guess it’s taking me longer than some others, but that’s OK — it’s my timeline and my process. And the journey is painful.

  3. lily Says:

    my husband died two months ago. Coping not well at all. Fear and stress and anxiety are my constant companions. I live rurally and have no support groups or neighbors near by. “They” say not to make hasty decisions but boy do I want to move and be near people and support services. This is happening in the winter. Never had to shovel and not fit physically or emotionally now.

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