What is normal?

Everyone experiences grief in different ways.   That is normal.  For some rebuilding a life is a gradual climb.  For others it is more like rolling waves.   

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross developed a five stage model of the grieving process as a loose framework to describe a general process of grief how a person might move through it. 

Some people go through all these stages, others may not experience any.  ‘Our grieving is as individual as our lives,’ Kübler-Ross said.

Common symptoms of grief can be:

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Sadness 
  • Guilt 
  • Anger 
  • Fear 
  • Physical symptoms (fatigue, nausea, weight fluctuation, insomnia, dry mouth, dizziness, breathlessness)

Remember that feelings of grief can start before a person dies.  There is a loss of how things used to be and a change in the relationship.  

Also remember that someone dying may also feel a sense of grief before they die – the loss of their future and all that goes with it, for example important personal or family milestones.

Cruse are a charity that specialise in bereavement care and discusses in detail the issues surrounding different scenarios of grief and how to cope.  They also offer support.  See more here.


Additional information