Chapter 4: About grief

Ways grief may affect you

The grief expert says
Chris speaks about how there is no blueprint for grief or how we respond to loss.(3:22)Video transcript

I wish people would have told me that grief experiences before death are not the same as after death.

Grief affects your emotions, your thinking, and your behaviour. It also affects how your body feels. Roll your mouse over each of the boxes below to see some of the ways grief may affect you.

Your body



There may be times when your grief is a physical sensation, such as a stomach ache, headache, or shortness of breath.





Grief can interfere with your thinking, making you more forgetful or affecting your ability to concentrate.


Your behaviour



You may notice changes in your behaviour, such as not doing things you used to enjoy or avoiding friends.


Your beliefs



Your beliefs may change, such as your faith or your trust in the future.



Your emotions may also be impacted. You may experience some of the following:

  • Conflicting feelings, such as sadness and relief.
  • Intense feelings that might surprise or shock you.
  • Unpredictable feelings
  • Feeling you’re doing “okay” and then suddenly feeling knocked over by a wave of emotion.
  • Feelings of isolation – Even if you have people who care about you close by you might still feel lonely.

Grief often changes you, and it changes over time. After a while it may take up less energy. This doesn’t mean forgetting (the person who died). You can carry their memory forward, remembering all aspects of who they were – what you found most challenging, what you cherished most, or both. You can continue to have relationships in a different way, with the people who are important to you, even though they’re no longer physically present.

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