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Grief Bereavement

The Grief Experience

Following the loss of a loved one, many people find their experience of grief is different than what was anticipated.  Grief can be harder and deeper than expected. Grief can affect us on all levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  Reactions such as anger, numbness, confusion, self-doubt, memory loss, sleep problems, irritability, can all be part of grieving.

Other experiences of grief may include: tightness in the throat or chest, loss of appetite, disruption of eating patterns, crying at unexpected times, sudden mood changes, feeling as if the loss did not happen, experiencing an intense preoccupation with the life of the deceased, expecting to see the loved one, or feeling his or her presence.  Some of these reactions may last longer than others.  There is no “normal” time-line for grief.

Reacting to Your Grief

Give yourself permission to feel bad. Be present with your grief. Let it unfold at its own pace and with its own lessons.

Do not judge your emotions or feelings. Allow yourself time to cry, to laugh, to be angry, to have solitude, to talk with others. Try to avoid stressful situations and environments. Expect to have less energy than usual.

Create ways to honor your loved one, such as lighting a candle or assembling a memory book.  Rituals can be healing and provide a way to channel love. Find something that is meaningful to you.  Other creative outlets might include keeping a journal, drawing, or gardening.

Pay close attention to your diet. Try to eat healthful foods and drink lots of water. Try taking naps. Light exercise, such as walking, can help focus your mind and reduce restlessness.

Our Services

Grief groups and schedule: Being in a safe space with others who understand the experience of grief can help decrease loneliness, increase feelings of support, and provide ideas for coping in a changed world. Kaiser offers grief support groups, class and workshops for anyone in the community who may benefit at no charge.

For Kaiser Hayward Hospice Families

In addition to access to the workshops and classes, we offer:

  • Mailing series
  • Short-term individual counseling
  • Support phone calls
  • Memorial gatherings

Other Resources

For more information, please contact our Bereavement Coordinator at 510-675-5792.