Shock and Disbelief
Shock is the first reaction to the news of the death of a loved one. It is often total disbelief if that death is sudden. Shock is the body’s way of coping with traumatic situations in life. It is a period that allows us time to gather our resources to cope with the following stages of grief.
At this point, we are unable to hold in the intense emotion which the loss has created. It is natural for that emotion to find a release through crying. Many men find it difficult to cry because they have been brought up to believe that it isn’t “manly”. But holding in our emotions can make the recovery process more difficult.
We won’t lose control or our sanity if we cry. It is a natural reaction – IT’S ALRIGHT TO CRY!
Loneliness (feeling low)
Almost everyone feels this loneliness, a sense of complete separation from the person who is no longer alive. We feel really low in spirit, don’t know what to do, or where to go to find relief.
It is important to realise that this is normal. It is alright to feel low and alone, even if we have plenty of family and friends around to support us.
Physical Symptoms of Distress
The pressure of coping with bereavement may sometimes cause our bodies to react with headaches, backaches, asthma or some other illness. Sometimes this can even reflect the symptoms of the deceased. A visit to the doctor may be wise, but often it is just nature’s way of telling us to “take it easy” for a while.