Notice: I’m an affiliate for Amazon as well as other companies. Any links in this article may be affiliate links. I always appreciate it if you purchase something using my affiliate links. Doing so helps me to raise a little extra money that pays for the costs of running this site. And it allows me to continue bringing you quality content, all without costing you a thing! Thanks!I originally wrote this post about grief back in August 2014 after the death of my mother. I’ve decided to update it after experiencing the death of my father, with some additional information. Losing a loved one through death is one of the most stressful things that you can endure in life and with good reason. Your life completely changes in an instant. Even if your loved one was sick for an extended period before they passed. There is a lot of information about what to expect with the grieving process that you can find online or through a therapist. But there are some things that you may encounter that are not only unexpected but seem a little strange as you move through the grieving process. I discovered some of these strange things after losing my Mom three weeks ago, and as I talked with others about their experiences I noticed a pattern that the “experts” haven’t really talked about.
Your body is being impacted!This really is the 16th thing that you need to know. But it’s something that I’m adding after the death of my Dad. I experienced a LOT more physical symptoms as a result of my grief this time. Of course, the death of a loved one is very stressful. And the world has been dealing with an extended period of stress as the result of a global pandemic.
Some of the common physical issues that occur when grieving:
- Heart problems- the high level of stress associated with grieving can cause a heart attack, heart palpitations, and other heart issues. If you experience symptoms, go and see a doctor!
- Digestive issues- stress is the number one cause of digestive upset, so it’s no surprise that grieving may cause some tummy troubles.
- Lowered immunity- stress also lowers the immune system, so it’s important to make sure you are getting plenty of rest and eating well to help you stay healthy!
- Body aches and pains- I had this problem pretty badly after my Dad passed away. Holding stress in the body without being aware of it can cause physical pain.
- Fatigue- Grief can cause fatigue. The kind that causes you to have trouble getting out of bed, or feeling like you can barely keep your eyes open during the day. This is particularly a problem in the weeks directly after the death of a loved one. As time progresses, you should find the fatigue lessening. This was also a big problem for me after my father passed. I took time and listened to my body. I took naps frequently…especially during the first week after his death. Listen to your body and rest when you need to!
- Unhealthy ways of coping- it’s easy to turn to food, cigarettes, alcohol, or other unhealthy things to cope with the stress of the death of a loved one. If you find yourself struggling with an unhealthy pattern or an addiction as the result of a death, contact a mental health professional who can help.