top of page

Experiencing Grief and Its Effects Personally by Mimi Rothschild



Each and every facet of a person's being is touched by the feeling of loss. The aforementioned manifes-tations are amplified in the case of an unexpected, unexpected death. Because of the increase in intensity, the time required to complete the responses is usually extended. Keep in mind there is no set processing time. Many external circumstances must align for someone to be able to reconcile their grief. People are mourning, but they are also living their lives, and the stresses of both will play a role in how far down the road to recovery they get. Individuals may not always experience each and every one of the possible side effects. Over time, responses might shift. Remember that a grieving reaction is only taken into account AFTER the loss event has occurred.


The Body's Reactions


The following are examples of potential physiological responses as a means by which an individual copes with the stress and anxiety associated with a loss experience:


Hunger and appetite swings:


Eating excessively; bingeing


Loss of appetite; undereating


Sleep problems include: oversleeping, trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, and a lack of motivation to face the day.


Insufficient sleep; nightmares; dreams of loss; sleep disruptions


Other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, allergies, stomach pain, headaches, and migraines, might also be exaggerated.


Remember that the immune system and the body's capacity to maintain a healthy balance are both negatively impacted by bad eating and sleeping habits.


Resulting Behavior

Whether the person is alone or with others, their actions will reflect the inward shift brought on by the loss experience.


Behaviours that indicate aggression include loudness/tone of voice, irritability, and tension. Behaviours that indicate withdrawal/passivity include being very quiet and introverted, giving short answers, and having limited conversation because the person believes they are not deserving of happiness.


An increase in self-doubt manifests itself in a variety of ways, including a desire for constant reinforcement, a lack of confidence when making decisions, a sense of hopelessness, and an unwillingness to begin activities or venture outside the house.


Carelessness or damaging actions:


Many people who drink excessively do so in an attempt to dull their emotions.

—Substance abuse: to dull and escape the feelings.


Sexual experimentation: I "dare" something bad to happen to me, like getting AIDS, in order to feel better.


—Dangerous actions taken in defiance of fate or the established order, such as speeding or other forms of reckless driving.


Hyperactivity: Excessive activity as a coping mechanism for stress and distress.


There's shopping, talking, fixing things around the house, and paying attention to the details that need fixing.


Mind-Based Reactions


Forgetfulness; a shortened attention span that makes it hard to focus on tasks and interferes with many people's productivity on the job.


Loss-centered thinking: preoccupying oneself to the point of obsession with one's own perceived failures.


Loss of self-respect Idealization of oneself, one's future, and one's own and others' relationships


Overstated magical reasoning (I made it happen)


The Expression of Feelings


"I could have," "I shouldn't have," "If only," and "Why didn't I..." are all examples of self-criticism and guilt.


Fears: of the unknown; of the dark; of new locations and old favorites; of social situations; of making the proper decision; of being alone; of being a single parent; of "What will I do now?"; of "Will God punish me too?"


Helplessness/Hopelessness

Anger at the world, God, unfairness, the deceased, and those who seem happy despite the loss. Yearning for the deceased and the old world. Anger at those who seem content despite the loss.


Incapable of extending emotional support to anybody, not even close relatives, and experiencing significant social isolation as a result.



Third: The Effects of Grief on the Individual


Anxiety: Many people who are mourning experience a buildup of general anxiety due to all of the aforementioned factors. Trying a new approach to life necessitates establishing a new "normal. All of this is a period of change, and many people will feel uneasy about it until it becomes the "new normal."

Philosophical and Religious Reactions


It is possible for any person's belief system (a component of their assumed universe, according to Rando) to be tested. Beliefs undergo their own transformation as a result of the loss, whether they are reinforced through introspection or diminished by the experience. This is a natural element of coping with your loss and moving on with your life.


People of faith may wonder why God didn't step in, why God allowed this to happen, and where God was throughout their difficult time of transition.


Guilt is something people often have to deal with after engaging in spiritually fraught activities like doubting God and harboring resentment against him.


Many shifts occur in a person's life as a result of experiencing loss and going through the mourning process. It's a time of CHANGE and ADAPTATION in all area of the person's life. So, it's not just parts of a person that have to adjust to this new reality; it's the whole person. People are looking for companionship and encouragement as they navigate this complex landscape. The time required for adaptation is unlimited.


The result will be influenced by the individual's life circumstances, coping techniques, and spiritual or philosophical views. Accepting one's grieving reaction as a JOURNEY — as a part of one's own life experience — rather than as a series of chores to be completed in order to "get better" might help folks deal with the reality that we do not get over a loss but rather learn to live with the loss experience. One's path through life includes the experience of loss on all levels (physical, behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual).



Personal Repercussions of Loss, Section 3

Comments


Mimi Rothschild

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs forGrief Coach, Trauma Coach, End of Life Coach, and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years. She is available for speaking engagements and comments to the press on any issue surrounding thriving after catastrophic loss. MEDIA INQUIRIES: Info@GlobalGriefInstitute.com

bottom of page