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Wed Jul 16, 2014, 12:43 PM

Symptoms of “Normal” Grief

I was a grief and loss counselor for many years, and used this handout frequently in my work. I hope others find it helpful.

Symptoms of “Normal” Grief

Cognitive
 Confusion, disorientation
 Difficulty concentrating
 Memory impairment
 Thoughts of wanting to join the deceased
Physical
 Achy, stiff muscles
 Changes in appetite, weight loss or gain
 Changes in sleep patterns
 Dizziness, vertigo
 Fatigue, exhaustion
 Headaches
 Nausea, stomach aches, intestinal problems
 Pounding heartbeat, tightness in the chest
 Restlessness
 Weakened immune system
Emotional
 Anger – at the deceased, survivors, doctors, self, God
 Anxiety, fear, panic
 Deep sadness
 Denial
 Depression
 Frustration
 Guilt
 Helplessness
 Irritability
 Loneliness, isolation
 Numbness
 Relief that deceased’s suffering has ended or that a bad relationship is over
 Shame
 Shock and disbelief that the death has occurred
 Worry
Behavioral
 Accident-proneness
 Frequent crying
 Loss of interest in usual activities
 Nightmares
 Over-activity
 “Paranormal” experiences – visions of the deceased, etc.
 Withdrawal from friends and family


The Community Hospice, Inc. 2006

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