According to research, some or all of the following emotions emerge throughout the course of a normal grieving process:
Shock and surprise
People are rarely braced for someone’s death. In fact, the reality of death may not occur to a person for a number of days afterward.
The healthy release of tension and other emotions usually occurs at the funeral or with family and friends, but this is only the beginning of the grieving process.
Physical distress and anxiety
During some more advanced stages of the grieving process, a person may feel so lonesome that he or she appears to develop symptoms of physical distress.
After the funeral, when family and friends have gone home, feelings of emptiness, isolation, and depression may occur.
It may become difficult to concentrate because of constant memories of the deceased. In fact, this may cause a person to worry about his or her own stability. Not knowing what is happening or what to do can result in panic and weakened self-esteem.
Oftentimes survivors of the deceased dwell on the things they could have done differently and may even feel responsible for the person’s death.
Hostility and projection
This is one of the most difficult stages for relatives and friends because the survivor suddenly becomes hostile to those whom he or she thinks could have helped prevent the death. Family and friends should be tolerant and non-defensive.
Usually the survivor suffers in silence, weary from the depression and frustration. Becoming more active is part of the answer.
Gradual overcoming of grief
Through the affection and encouragement of friends and family, gradually a new meaning of life unfolds.
Readjustment to reality
Recalling the deceased becomes a pleasant experience and planning for the future becomes more realistic.
If you, a family member or friend are experiencing any of these symptoms, realize they are all part of the normal, healthy, and absolutely necessary process of grieving.