Grief: it's a normal response to loss

Have you experienced any of these losses recently?

  • The death of someone close
  • A breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Failing at school
  • Losing a friendship
  • Losing your good health
  • Losing your job
  • Your parent's divorce
  • A miscarriage (losing your unborn baby)
  • The death of a pet
  • Selling the family home
  • Losing you sense of safety after a trauma (bad experience)
  • A loved one getting a serious illness
  • Losing a precious dream.

If yes, then you are probably grieving.

Grief is a natural, expected and culturally accepted response to loss as a result of the death of someone close to you or the loss of something important to you. When you are grieving you will have physical, emotional, mental and spiritual feelings that will go away over time without treatment.

Grief may make you feel:

  • Sad, shocked, angry, worried, lonely, guilty, scared, worthless, not caring about anything or have bad temper
  • Tired, tightness in your chest, find it difficult to breathe, no energy, numbness, nausea, body aches, not wanting to eat or sleep
  • Disbelief, confusion, not able to focus on anything, like you are hearing the voice of the person who died, upset by your thoughts and worry about death
  • Like you can't believe in God or ask why this happened to you

Everyone is different

People respond to death and loss differently. It depends on your age and level of understanding. Children and adolescents thought to be ‘too young’ to understand what has happened. But this is not true! Some children, adolescents and those with learning disabilities may find it difficult to express their emotions and may then show their grief in a similar way to that of a younger child through bed wetting, sleeping and eating problems, nightmares, violent play and anger.

If someone dies of AIDS-related illnesses people may cover it up. This may make things feel worse and stop you from openly mourning.

Grief affects everyone differently. There is no set time when grieving is over. Around important events such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays grieving can increase so be prepared. Speak to a healthcare worker at your local clinic or call a helpline if you feel you can’t cope.

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B-Wise User Sir Tshegetso 7 October 2017 12:42

how to deal with trauma?

B-Wise Expert Expert 8 October 2017 18:06

Sir Tshegetso, good question. When a trauma happens to us, it usually affects our bodies and minds, and that’s natural. Often people feel more tense or nervous, get reminded of the trauma in dreams or flashbacks, feel numb or try to avoid memories of the event, or feel sad, guilty or angry. That’s all part of your body and mind trying to process and deal with the event. These reactions usually go away after a few weeks, and it’s best not to try to get rid of or suppress them. It can be difficult, but try to let yourself feel the emotions - they are helping you to get better and move on. If you’re finding it hard to deal with trauma symptoms, speak to a trusted friend or adult about it. If the symptoms last for more than a month, or you feel you’re not coping, ask a counsellor or psychologist for help.