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I talked to my boss later that day on the telephone and he suggested I call Hospice to see if they could help. I called them and they agreed to see me right away. They gave me a wonderful counselor who helped me to see that what I was going through was perfectly normal ..... but that I just needed a little help getting through it. After I realized that what I was experiencing was, in fact, normal ..... I was much better equipped to deal with it.

The information that follows is what she handed me as soon as I sat down in her office.  When I read the information, I saw all the symptoms I had been experiencing. What I actually thought was "dying of grief" .... turned out to be a normal response to grief.


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Normal Grief

Guilt and Self-Reproach
Yearning / Pining

Hollowness in Stomach
Tightness in Chest
Lump in Throat
Oversensitivity to Noise
Sense of Depersonalization
Breathlessness, Sobbing
Lack of Energy
Dry Mouth


Sense of Presence
Sleep Disturbances
Appetite Disturbances
Absent-Minded Behavior
Social Withdrawal
Dreams of Deceased
Avoiding Reminders
Searching & Calling-Out
Restless Overactivity
Carrying Reminders
Treasuring His/Her Objects


The Tasks Of Mourning

The following are the Tasks of Mourning ... the four steps to help get through the process .... the things we MUST do.  Some people may move through them much more quickly than others. Don't worry if it takes you longer.  We all deal with things in our own time .... in our own way.

1)  To accept the reality of loss.
2)  To experience the pain of grief.
3)  To adjust to an environment in which the deceased is missing.
4)  To relocate the deceased emotionally so that one can move on with life.


I have chosen the approach here of dealing with grief from the aspect of death ....... but you can experience grief for other reasons as well. My daughter is a drug addict .... and I grieve over her quite a lot. She isn't dead .... but I grieve over what she could have had ... what she could have been. A lot of parents are dealing with this and we grieve over our living children who are addicted ... daily.

Some other areas of grieving are:

1)  Loss of a job.
2)  Loss of a romantic love.
3)  As we get older, we begin to grieve over knowing that we may soon lose our parents.
4)  Also, as we grow older, some people grieve over their own impending death.

There are many reasons why we experience grief. Learning to deal with grief is the next step. We must not let it consume us.


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