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Reacting to loss

The end of a marital relationship is one of the most traumatic losses a person will ever experience. The normal, natural reaction to such a loss is grief. You need to go through the grief to heal.

Grief is much more than a feeling, although feelings are a part of it. Feelings of grief may include, among others:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Helplessness
  • Shock
  • Relief
  • Bitterness
  • Guilt
  • Loneliness

You may also find yourself behaving differently. Changes in behavior include such things as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping excessively
  • Crying
  • Avoiding or visiting places that remind you of the loss
  • Absent-minded behavior

The grief may manifest itself physically in such ways as:

  • Tightness in the throat or chest
  • Hollowness in the pit of the stomach
  • Oversensitivity to noise
  • Lack of energy, tiredness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle tension or weakness
  • Shallow breath

Your spiritual life may be impacted by the loss through:

  • Questioning your belief
  • Expressing anger at God
  • Difficulty praying
  • A deeper reliance on God
  • Feeling that God is nowhere to be found

These feelings and changes may be both new and frightening, but knowing that they are normal reactions to loss can be a first step on the road to coping with your grief.