Chapter 1: An introduction to grief

How 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

When he died, my heart broke into a million little pieces. It’s back together now but the scars will always be there.

Grief affects our emotions, our thinking, and our behaviour. It can also affect how our bodies feel. Click on each of the tabs below to see some of the ways grief may affect you.

At times, your grief may be felt as a physical sensation, such as a stomach ache, a headache, or shortness of breath.

You may have:


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

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

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

Grief changes us and it changes over time. After a while it may take up less energy. This does not mean forgetting about the loss but rather, integrating the loss into your lives.