Grief,Mental Health,Therapy And Counselling

Experiencing Grief

Grief is such a paradoxical experience; we will all acquaint with it at some point, and we will all experience it differently. Whilst we will share moments, feelings, physical symptoms and thoughts similar to others, grief is a very personal journey.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. This is something I’m passionate about normalising. I work with grief a lot and so many clients come to me feeling that they are broken, that they aren’t “grieving properly”. This can manifest as “I should be over this by now”, “I was fine and now I’m not”, “I haven’t cried and that’s wrong”, “I can’t stop crying, what’s wrong with me?” amongst many others.

How we experience

How we experience grief and process it will depend largely on how those around us, loved ones, friends and family behave with grief. What we have learned growing up will shape our beliefs and form ideas on how we are “supposed” to behave with grief.

This may present as hearing others say “you’re so strong, well done you”, “chin up”, “life goes on”. Or perhaps growing up crying was never normalised or feelings were shut down. This will all impact how you experience and process your grief.

Grief is painful; it hurts, emotionally, physically and mentally. You might have dreams about your loved one that’s died. This is your mind searching for them and trying to make sense of the loss. These dreams can happen frequently and for many years.

How does grief manifest?

Grief can manifest physically, headaches, jaw ache from clenching teeth, digestive issues, back pain, tightness in the chest, nausea and many more. It’s important to go see your GP to rule out any concerns.  Appetite and sleep reduction is really common and can have a huge impact on day-to-day life if left unchecked.

Grief shifts and moves and so there is no time scale, some days will become easier and then there will be days that knock you off your feet. You might hear a song or see someone that reminds you of them or smell a favourite aroma that elicits the grief and that is totally normal.

Go at YOUR pace.

What you are feeling is real and it matters.


  1. Eat small and often to replenish energy levels. 3 meals a day can feel overwhelming and is often unrealistic when experiencing grief.
  2. Talk about your loved one with someone you trust.
  3. Remember your loved one in a way that feels right for you, such as a memory box, visiting a special place, planting a tree or plant.