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GENESIS Bereavement Resources offers support and encouragement to bereaved people. Our carefully prepared books, brochures and DVDs address some of the issues around grief and bereavement as well as encouraging bereaved people in creating a new life.

About John Kennedy Saynor

The Symptoms of Grief

by John Kennedy Saynor

daisies“There are days I think I am going crazy!” This comment is often heard from a person grieving the loss of a loved one. Part of the reason for feeling this way is because most of us are unfamiliar with what a grieving person can expect to feel.

The following will tell you what you can expect.


This will be one of the saddest times of your life. You may feel overwhelmed at times. You may be afraid you will never laugh again.


Perhaps you have never been this lonely before. Evenings and weekends may be the most difficult for you.


Perhaps you are angry at the doctors, at God or at family and friends for not supporting you like you thought they would. You may even be angry at the person who died for leaving you!


Grief is one of the prime causes of stress. You may experience some confusion, memory loss and inability to concentrate. This is temporary and you are not “losing your mind.”


Almost everyone finds something to feel guilty about after someone has died. It is normal to feel guilty about things you wish you had said or done. Feelings of guilt may be justified. Most often they aren’t. Most of us do the best we can with our lives.


The death of one you love often involves the death of your dreams and the loss of your future as you thought it would be. You may feel completely lost. This feeling is often accompanied by intense anxiety over what the future holds.


If the death has followed a long illness, you are probably relieved it is finally all over. This is quite normal and there is no need to feel guilty about this.


Perhaps you are a person for whom this death was truly “a blessing.” It’s OK to feel this way and to be genuinely thankful for the person who died and for the time you had together. Gratitude and thankfulness are great healers.

These symptoms are what we call normal or healthy symptoms of grief. In other words, if you are experiencing any of them, you are perfectly normal – and you aren’t going crazy!