Shock and Disbelief

Shock and disbelief are the most common reactions to the sudden death of a loved one. The general feeling at this time is one of numbness which allows us to function and thereby helps us to accomplish what we need to do regarding the death. This numbness is nature’s way of protecting us from becoming overwhelmed by the impact of the loss.

There may also be physical symptoms in the first weeks. These can include aching in the chest and arms, heart palpitations, feelings as though you cannot get a deep enough breath, or constant sighing. If your loved one was ill you may find that you are experiencing similar symptoms. Your appetite and sleep patterns may be affected and you may experience nightmares. Some people experience visions of the dead person or think they hear them crying or calling out. If this happens, you may wonder if you are going crazy. You are not. This is a normal response to the loss of a loved one and it disappears in time.