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Common Responses to Loss

Grief is a multi-faceted and complex process; everyone responds in a unique and personal way. Grief affects us physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually.

Download PDF: Common Responses to Loss
common responses to loss

Apr 30, 2020

While grief may appear to look the same for everyone, each person’s grief response is unique.

Common responses to loss:


  • Stomach upset; nausea; diarrhea; constipation
  • Headaches
  • Sleep changes (trouble sleeping or sleeping more)
  • Increase or decrease in weight
  • Appetite changes/ Loss of appetite or eating more
  • Lowered immunity
  • Fatigue/Weakness
  • Increase in drinking or drug use
  • Increase in spending, gambling, work, etc.


  • Disbelief
  • Shock
  • Relief
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Numbness
  • Emptiness
  • Loneliness
  • Abandonment
  • Guilt


  • Wondering if I am going crazy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Seeing, hearing, or smelling things that are not there
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of loved one
  • Confusion
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Lack of motivation


  • Need for increased social support
  • Desire to withdraw and avoid others
  • Feeling different from others
  • Changes in family relationships and communication
  • Dread of major milestones such as holidays, birthdays, anniversaries


  • Anger with God/Higher Power
  • Struggles with faith
  • Search for purpose or meaning in life
  • Decrease in Faith
  • Increase in Faith

We can help. Call the Grief Counseling Center in High Point at 336.889.8446 or in Asheboro at 336.672.9300 during regular business hours and ask to speak with our bereavement team.