Everyone knows that death is a natural part of life. However, no matter how prepared and open-minded a person is about death as a concept, they may still experience significant grief and melancholy when a death occurs, especially when it happens to their loved one.
Indeed, losing a loved one is one of the most painful and stressful events a person can experience in their lifetime. When a death occurs, it can feel like their life has been turned upside down. Depending on how close they were with the deceased, their grieving process may also vary, which may severely impact their physical and mental well-being. Grief can be a challenging emotion to overcome. Let us shed some light on the concept of grief and how it can affect a person physically and emotionally.
What is grief?
Grief is a strong and overwhelming emotion that engulfs a person when they lose a loved one. While this emotion is often associated with death, grief can also manifest within a person when they discover a serious illness, go through a divorce, or experience any other kind of significant loss. Experiencing grief is a perfectly normal emotional response to encountering significant loss, and it is part of the coping process.
Despite everyone experiencing grief at some stage of their life, everyone has their unique way of dealing with this complicated emotion. Some find themselves emotionally exhausted and are unable to muster the energy to do even the simplest of tasks, while others prefer to keep themselves active and busy as a way to cope with their grief.
Aside from the impact, the ways in which grief manifests also varies according to a person’s culture or individual personality. For some, grief is a private matter that needs to be dealt with alone or with a select number of close relatives. For others, they prefer to be expressive and public with their emotions.
What are the common causes of grief?
The grieving process is most commonly associated with the death of a family member or friend. Indeed, grief is primarily known as the natural reaction to a loved one’s loss. However, aside from a loved one’s passing, there are several other types of major losses that can trigger this emotion.
Let us share the common types of losses that can cause one to be overwhelmed with grief:
- Diagnosis of a severe or terminal illness
- Divorce or separation
- Loss of a beloved pet
- Loss of a friendship
- Loss of a job
- Infertility or miscarriage
- Disability due to an accident
- Loss of a personal dream
What are the effects of grief?
It is impossible to accurately gauge the impact of grief as everyone responds differently. The effects of the grieving process depend on several factors, such as their physical strength and emotional resilience. These are the same aspects that categorise the different possible effects of grief.
Physical effects of grief
People often talk about grief as an emotional response. However, it may come as a surprise for many that grief is not entirely emotional. Grieving over the loss of a loved one can also impact a person’s physical body. Let us share the most common effects of grief on one’s physical health:
- Chest pain
- Body aches and pains
- Digestive issues
- Weakened immunity
- Heart problems
Emotional effects of grief
With that said, the effects of grief are still primarily emotional in nature. A person who has lost a loved one will most likely display several emotional symptoms associated with the grieving process. These symptoms are common in the days or weeks following the traumatic event. However, their prolonged presence may indicate a more serious disorder, such as depression. These emotional symptoms include:
- Extreme sadness
- Increased irritability
- Preoccupation with loss
- Guilt or blame
Going through a significant loss can cause a person to experience a wide range of painful emotions like grief. However, it is vital to understand that it is perfectly natural to feel such emotions. Grieving allows a person to better process their feelings and accept the loss of their loved one.
Nevertheless, it is crucial for everyone not to let grief consume them as it can severely impact their physical and mental well-being. If the emotion becomes too overwhelming, it is advisable to seek professional help.
If you have recently lost a loved one and are struggling to cope with the demands of planning a funeral while processing your grief, it is advisable to seek the help of a funeral company to assist you. At 1Stop Buddhist Funeral Services, we understand that everyone grieves differently. As such, allow us to help you with all the necessary preparations for your loved one’s funeral, so you can focus more on healing and dealing with your grief.