The Physical Effects of Grief

Posted by: on May 11, 2011
       There is so little in life we control and grief’s timing is among the uncontrollable. Grief causes tremendous turmoil in every aspect of life and involves a wide range of physical, emotional and spiritual responses. All are perfectly normal responses to the trauma of losing a loved one. This loss can quickly turn our world into an unfamiliar place.

According to Brook Noel at griefsteps.com when we can understand how grief affects us, we are better equipped to deal with its grip. While we wish we never had to learn or understand these emotions, being aware of them may offer us comfort in our own times of sorrow. See her article at  http://www.funeralplan.com/griefsupport/griefsteps.html

The physical symptoms may include sleep difficulties, fatigue and exhaustion. Poor appetite, overeating or nausea, lowered immunity, migraines or headaches. Weight loss or gain, aches and pains. You may feel shaky or trembling, dizziness or disorientation or an overall numbness, where the world becomes a surreal place. You may find yourself crying at unexpected times.

It is important to understand the symptoms and to know that they will pass as you work through your grief. If you find any symptom to be overwhelming or unbearable, contact a professional. Pre-existing painful problems such as arthritis may get worse and other chronic health conditions often flare up too. It’s common for conditions that need careful control such as diabetes and high blood pressure to go awry

We would like to suggest a few simple things that should help while you adjust:

First – remember to drink plenty of water. You can quickly become dehydrated from crying and it is one of the first things that seem to be forgotten.

Second – Sleep as much as you can. It is so important to the renewal of your body needs. A good night sleep can help you see things in whole different way. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to a doctor.

Third – remember to eat good food. Your body will need the energy in the days and weeks ahead.

BBC Health has a great article here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/emotional_health/bereavement/bereavement_physical.shtml

If your loved one died because of an illness, it is not uncommon to harbor fears that you might get sick and die, too. You might even develop symptoms similar to those he had.
http://www.recover-from-grief.com/effects-of-bereavement.html suggests that if any of your physical effects of bereavement don’t gradually improve over time, and you truly are worried that something might be wrong, see a doctor. You don’t need the added stress of fear about your own physical well-being right now. Get a checkup for the peace of mind.

Visit our grief resources page for more information on the effects of grief  www.familymemorialservices.com/common-reactions-to-grief

And always remember – The only way to take grief out of death is to take love out of life…Shelle

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