• Newly Bereaved,
  • Grief Education,
  • How to Help
  • What is Grief

    Riley Children's Grief Team

    Grief is the emotions we feel inside when we lose someone we love. You may feel a wide range of emotions including sadness, longing, confusion, despair, numbness, etc. It is typical to feel many different emotions every day. You may find yourself confused at times by how quickly your emotions change throughout the day. Some individuals feel completely disoriented and find it difficult to do routine things like taking a shower. Some struggle to make decisions or complete tasks. These are all normal experiences. Keep in mind that grief is unique to each individual and how you express it is influenced by your own personality, culture and beliefs. Here are some common grief symptoms:

    • Profound sadness
    • Longing for your child
    • Changes in eating habits
    • Changes in sleeping habits
    • Tight muscles, tension headaches
    • Complete exhaustion
    • Difficulty saying what happened out loud
    • Wanting to avoid social interactions
    • Fear of being alone
    • Irritability or lack of patience
    • Anxiety or overcome with worry, pit in stomach
    • Guilt, regret and or relief
    • Feeling lost or not sure what to do now
    • Disbelief that this happened
    • Desperation or wishful thinking
    • Apathy or not caring about things that used to matter to you
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Difficulty making decisions
    • Racing thoughts
    • Unsettling and/or disturbing thoughts
    • Questioning religious or spiritual beliefs or anger towards those beliefs
    • Searching for signs from your child

    If you experience grief symptoms that concern you, it is important to seek support from a professional grief counselor and/or reach out to your primary care provider.

    While many bereaved parents long to be with their child and often no longer fear their own death, it is not normal to have suicidal thoughts or attempts. If you have any thoughts of harming yourself, please reach out immediately to the National Suicide Hotline at 1.800.273.8255 or call 9-1-1.