Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone or something very important to you. The loss may cause sadness and may cause you to think of very little else besides the loss. The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe feelings of grief.
Anticipatory grief is grief that strikes in advance of an impending loss. You may feel anticipatory grief for a loved one who is sick and dying. Anticipatory grief helps us prepare for loss.
Grieving is the process of emotional and life adjustment you go through after a loss. Grieving after a loved one’s death is also known as bereavement.
Grieving is a personal experience. Depending on who you are and the nature of your loss, your process of grieving will be different from another person’s experience. There is no “normal and expected” period of time for grieving.
A wide range of feelings and symptoms are common during grieving. While you are feeling shock, numbness, sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, or fear, you may also find moments of relief, peace, or happiness. And although grieving is not simply sadness, “the blues,” or depression, you may become depressed or overly anxious during the grieving process.
The stress of grief and grieving can take a physical toll on your body. Sleeplessness is common, as is a weakened immune system over time. If you have a chronic illness, grieving can make your condition worse.
Social support, good self-care, and the passage of time are usually the best medicine for grieving. But if you find that your grief is making it difficult to function for more than a week or two, contact a grief counsellor or bereavement support group for help.
If you have trouble functioning for longer than a couple of weeks because of depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor. Treatment with medicines or counselling can help speed your recovery.
*The above was taken from myhealth.alberta.ca
As the dust settles and family and friends who were your immediate support system and a great source of comfort during those first few months after a death has occurred go back to their daily lives, you find yourself at a loss where to turn for further support and comfort. Below are some links to support resources and networks that may help you on your journey of grief. There are many kindred spirits who have suffered similar losses that may be helpful to assist you as you come into your new “abnormal” in your time of healing.