What Does Grief Feel Like?

Understanding Grief / Understanding Grief : Litsa

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It sounds almost absurd to ask, doesn't it? And yet the moment people experience a loss, one of the first things we often hear is "I never could have imagined this tornado of feelings". There is a misconception that grief is just sadness (maybe with some anger thrown in). The reality? Grief feels like so many things. Grief feelings can change from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. And they are ALL NORMAL.

With the hundreds of articles we have here about grief, as a list of feelings about grief may seem . . . basic? But the reality is that we often struggle to identify our emotions in grief. There are so many feelings, swirling around with so many thoughts, that it is surprisingly tough sometimes to know what we're feeling.

When thinking about grief feelings, we did what we always do - we asked our incredible grief community. And you all answered - in droves. Within minutes anyone who thought that grief was just a couple of emotions was quickly set straight. And here we have your answers, compiled in one spot. Does this list cover every grief emotion? Nope. Even with 100+ answer to the question "grief makes me feel ___________" we have no doubt you might be feeling something that isn't on the list. Don't worry, that's what the comment section is for.

So, without further ado, grief makes me feel . . .

  • Abandoned
  • Afraid
  • Alienated
  • Alive
  • Alone
  • Angry
  • Anguished
  • Anxious
  • Bereft
  • Betrayed
  • Brave
  • Broken
  • Compassionate
  • Complicated
  • Conflicted
  • Confused
  • Connected
  • Crazy
  • Dead Inside
  • Defeated
  • Depersonalized
  • Depleted
  • Depressed
  • Despairing
  • Desperate
  • Different
  • Directionless
  • Disbelief
  • Disconnected
  • Disoriented
  • Drowning
  • Empathetic
  • Empty
  • Frustrated
  • Grateful
  • Grounded
  • Guilty
  • Gutted
  • Heartbroken
  • Heavy
  • Helpless
  • Hollow
  • Hopeful
  • Hopeless
  • Human
  • Impatient
  • Inadequate
  • Incomplete
  • Indifferent
  • In pain
  • Insane
  • Insecure
  • Invincible
  • Invisible
  • Isolated
  • Jealous
  • Joyless
  • Longing
  • Lonely
  • Lost
  • Loving
  • Mad
  • Melancholy
  • Miserable
  • Misunderstood
  • Nostalgic
  • Nothing
  • Numb
  • Overloaded
  • Overwhelmed
  • Panicked
  • Paralyzed
  • Powerless
  • Re-Connected
  • Regretful
  • Resentful
  • Sad
  • Scared
  • Shattered
  • Shocked
  • Sick
  • Silenced
  • Small
  • Split apart
  • Stronger
  • Stunned
  • Tired/Exhausted
  • Trapped
  • Unmotivated
  • Unseen
  • Unsettled
  • Unworthy
  • Vulnerable
  • Wanting
  • Weak
  • Weary
  • Withdrawn
  • Yearning
We invite you to share your experiences, questions, and resource suggestions with the WYG community in the discussion section below.

We invite you to share your experiences, questions, and resource suggestions with the WYG community in the discussion section below.

We wrote a book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief
for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible,
real-life book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books:

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107 Comments on "What Does Grief Feel Like?"

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  1. Emily  March 23, 2022 at 12:50 pm Reply

    Please can someone help me to understand the guilt I feel about my mixed feelings about the death of my mother-in-law. My husband and I are devoted to each other but sadly no matter how hard I tried over the years to be a loving daughter -in-law, her cruel comments and actions and admitted jealousy are all I have as memories. This woman was blessed in life with no worries yet nothing was ever good enough or made her happy. I believe the fact she had to get married due to pregnancy is part of the reason despite her husband giving her everything she could ever wish for, including wonderful children. He worshiped the ground she walked on until he passed away. All I feel is regret that she never let me in and the thought of what might have been had she accepted me for being the loving wife I am to her son.

    • Litsa  March 24, 2022 at 6:17 pm Reply

      Emily – please keep in mind that the relationships we have with people after they die often mirror what they were in life. If it was complicated in life it is complicated in death! And that’s okay. It sounds like she didn’t make it easy to have a positive relationship with her while she was alive and it is okay to acknowledge that impacts your grief! Often when someone we have a complex relationship with dies, what also dies is the hope that it will ever change or improve. Even if you didn’t see a path to that, often some little piece of us hold out hope that might happen! When someone dies, that hope disappears, and that is something else that needs to be grieved too.

  2. Wendy  June 28, 2021 at 5:47 pm Reply

    On May 24,2021 I lost my 34 year old son. He took his life. I have so many feelings. I feel guilty because I did not see the signs. Or more like it I did not know the signs of depression. He had an appointment with doctor because he was not sleeping, his mind would not shut off and he had lost a lot of weight. I feel angry that he decided to leave his father and I instead of chosing to stay with us. He was my only child. I feel robbed. He was my everything and it’s gone. All I picture is how he did it. And I cry uncontrollably for long hours. I lost my mom unexpectedly five and a half years ago. It killed me then. And took me a many years to come to terms with it. And now I am dying again, only worse. How will I ever get over this. He was not married and had no kids. I ask myself what did I ever do to the Cosmo’s to deserve this. It hurts so,do bad. How will I ever stop seeing how he took his life. Not sure how I will ever be able to move on from it

  3. Yvonne  May 20, 2021 at 7:09 am Reply

    My 14 yr. old daughter was murdered on Jan 3, 2021. She and a couple of friends were walking down the street when 2 masked individuals opened fire. My daughter and one of her friends were hit by gunfire. Her friend survived.
    The people responsible have not been caught.

    I still can’t believe she’s gone and never coming back. It’s been a hard 4 months. I cry everyday, everything reminds me of her. I miss her so much. I don’t know what to do….

    • Patty  October 2, 2021 at 6:23 pm Reply

      I am so very sorry that you are having to go through this horrible pain. Although I am a stranger to you, please know that I do care deeply and am praying that you will experience some peace soon. When we are in such traumatic pain, we feel as if we need to ‘do something’. Personally I figured out what I wanted ‘to do’ was find a way to stop the pain. I wasn’t successful in doing that however, I did eventually see a little ray of light one day. Only for a brief moment, but that was a start.
      The grieving process is not so much about getting rid of the pain, but not being controlled by the pain.
      Most importantly please know you are NOT loosing your mind, you are grieving. All of your emotions and confusion are normal.

  4. Zar  May 12, 2021 at 8:52 pm Reply

    I lost my dad at age 42, I lost my mom at age 55 but losing my only sister Silva at at 62 hurts the most. We tried real hard to make a life after our mom, Maria, died, a day before Mother’s day in 2013..my sister got cancer in 2016, got cured in 2018, but, damn, it came back in 2019. Yet it wasn’t What killed her.. it was the more aggressive chemo she put herself through, not realizing it was wearing down her immune system. So, in the beginning of last November, she had severe itching in her lady parts, which in turn something bad got in and within 2 weeks, my only sister, Silva, was gone. 25 weeks later, I am homeless, broke, no will to work with no body around to keep me going..my depression is worst now than after my mom died..but, I feel stuck..I don’t know which way to turn..I pray to be with my sister everyday but alas, I still here, trying to make something out of nothing.

  5. Amy Life  March 19, 2021 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Less important

  6. Shey  March 16, 2021 at 9:44 pm Reply

    My husband passed away recently on March 6.2021 only 32 year old . I’m still feeling lost and numb. I had a difficult day on Monday when I finally let my emotions out because I was so strong throughout the candlelight vigil, viewing and his funeral on 3.13.2021
    I am now taking anti-depressant to help me with my depress and to help me sleep. I wish he could have reached out to me better instead of having me to raise our 14yr old and 8yr old. I’m so lost 😞

  7. Ann Marie  February 21, 2021 at 6:42 pm Reply

    My mother was diagnosed with Cancer on January 24, 2020. She passed away July 11, 2020. WEEKS after being diagnosed. My husband fought Stage 4 Melanoma from 2012-2016 and yet THIS, this is harder. This was fast. Unexpected. I dream of my mother every single night. She is alive and yet cannot move her eyes talk to me and then she dies. Every night my mom dies and every night I relive her death. I am utterly exhausted. I am unable to focus. Unable to move most of the time. I meditate everyday at 1:30pm. I tend to sleep until 3pm. Everyday. Thank G-D I do not need to work. I am very fortunate that way. I am only 45 and yet feel 100. My mom passed at 2:22pm on 7/11 and everyday I seem to look up and the clock reads either 2:22 or 7:11 and so I have now found myself seeing these times and I then say “hello mommy I miss you” or “hey mom thanks for saying hello today. I miss you a lot” that helps and yet on a funny note, I do so out loud and now I will be at dinner or maybe taking my kids shopping and I simply say it out loud on habit now. Thankfully they don’t even comment. They allow me to be me. My kids and I have been through so very much and so much has been a test of my strength and yet THIS, the loss of my mother is the hardest trauma of my entire life.

  8. Mindy  February 21, 2021 at 3:16 pm Reply

    My husband passed away at the age of 38 suddenly and without really any explanation doctors all disagree and his death certificate has several diagnosis. Out sons were 3 and 9 at the time and I threw myself into them and work, then a year later his mother got cancer and I took care of her for two years till she passed. It will 22 years Tuesday since he passed away and I still can’t seem to grasp life. All I do is work and come home, my sons are grown and live out of the home. Why can’t I move on in life? I am 56 years old and don’t want to be alone the rest of my life.

    • Yvonne  May 20, 2021 at 7:55 am Reply

      Grief for me is a ROLLERCOASTER OF EMOTIONS.

  9. Dana  February 16, 2021 at 4:41 pm Reply

    That entire list can be felt in one flash of a memory and all felt simultaneously…I’m so stunned at the concept of that just literally caused an eureka in my emotional processors. I mean how many times have we been asked how we’re feeling or try to explain to someone why you can’t function or get up after suffering a loss. And now I know why I it’s so hard! We aren’t able to realize the sheer amount words we know about and others we can’t explain in words are felt in a split second,. It’s not a wonder to me now why I’m having a hard time with the loss of my mother whom I was caregiver for 11 years prior to her death Feb 2020. Waves of pain I still feel knock the emotional wind from me and the reason it takes so long to get back up is processing so many words for a split moment of emotional pain. I’m going write those words down and simply hand it to the next person who doesn’t understand why I’m so tired or so quiet. *sigh* I’m sure how I got to this site today but I’m so happy I did:. Thanks author of this blogger!!

    • Isabelle Siegel  February 17, 2021 at 12:07 pm Reply

      Dana, I absolutely love what you wrote about feeling all of these emotions simultaneously. I’m very sorry for your loss and that others have not been supportive in the way you need and deserve. That being said, I hope this website/community can offer you some much-needed comfort. You are not alone!

  10. Douglas David  February 15, 2021 at 5:55 pm Reply

    I sold a gold watch of my Fathers who passed away in 2003. Even though I got $ 1000. For it I feel so guilty now ! I am suffering from depression anxiety and stress now ! I am also on medication s now because I can’t stop the ruminating thoughts about it ! It was one of those lighter gold nugget watches with the pop in seiko face with small diamonds around the rectangular face ! I tried to get it back but the owner of the jewelery store said that he sold it for scrap ! I am now seeing a therapist on line ! Also a sychologist that prescrbes me medication for sleep and anxiety during the day ! I don’t know. If these thoughts about the incident will ever go away !

    • Isabelle Siegel  February 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm Reply

      Douglas, I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through this. I understand that you feel guilty, and recommend you check out these articles: https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-and-grief-2/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-vs-regret-in-grief/ I’m happy to hear that you’re getting the help you need and deserve. I, unfortunately, cannot answer your question about whether the thoughts will ever go away. That said, I am confident that you will find a way through this. All the best to you.

  11. Leigh  February 13, 2021 at 8:00 am Reply

    Lost the love of my life April 2020. Our life goals were not the same. We both married others. I never stopped loving
    him. Am leaving an abusive marriage.
    Consumed by regret, tears, memories,
    loss. Missing him beyond words.

    • Isabelle Siegel  February 17, 2021 at 12:40 pm Reply

      Leigh, I’m so sorry for your loss and for the hardship you are being forced to endure. I want you to know that your strength shines through. I am proud of you for taking the important step of prioritizing yourself by leaving your abusive marriage. I hear that you feel a tremendous amount of guilt and regret… This is so normal. I recommend you check out these articles: https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-vs-regret-in-grief/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-and-grief-2/ All the best to you.

      • Leigh  September 24, 2021 at 12:26 pm

        Thank you. Therapy & medication has not helped. Because of Covid
        his family has not had a memorial
        The least little thing triggers
        my emotions.
        Last night it was a song.

  12. Terry  February 8, 2021 at 11:14 pm Reply

    How many griefs can a person carry? What is left of me after they have taken my spirit with them? I am a tired, hurting husk of a person invisible to the world. Only the ones who have gone can revive me with their warm smile and love of me. Nothing else will ever do instead now. And they won’t ever return. When will this end? There is only heartache and pain inside my bones left. This is day and night. How can I go on?

    • Isabelle Siegel  February 9, 2021 at 8:56 am Reply

      Terry, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re feeling this way. It is completely normal for grief to persist long after a loss/losses. We often falsely expect grief to “go away” when, in reality, it stays with us. I highly recommend you check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-recovery-is-not-a-thing/ I understand that you are feeling hopeless and empty. Perhaps this is a sign that you should seek out the support of a therapist trained in grief and bereavement, which you can find here: https://grief.com/grief-counselor-directory/. Please know that, no matter what, you are not alone. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, or even if you just need someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

  13. Barbara  February 4, 2021 at 5:20 pm Reply

    Grief feels like a punch in the stomach. Grief hurts every second of the day. It wakes with you in the morning. You carry it all day then take it to bed at night. Grief is so lonely and quiet. I lost my husband of 35 years. Lost my mom. Lost my nephew and then my good friend. Also my dogs all in 7 months time. Grief is my new best friend and most days i think it will always be with me.

    • Adriana  February 18, 2021 at 7:05 pm Reply


      That’s exactly how it feels… like a punch in the stomach. I’m so sorry to hear about all of the losses you’ve had in such a short period of time and all I can say as a recent griever myself who is going through this unknown land of grief and pain, is that I do hope you have more of the serene moments you need to continue pulling through. I hope you find the strength you need to face this very difficult test you’re facing.

  14. Sandra  January 22, 2021 at 10:14 pm Reply

    My heart shattered into a million pieces the day my precious 25 yr old son Evan died by suicide. It is unreal to believe and always will be. I have learned so much about depression and suicide ideology since that tragic day. I never thought something like this would or could happen to someone who had such a loving, supportive and close family. What I’ve learned is that there is not one type of person who chooses to end their life. It can be anyone, at any age, rich or poor, and the list goes on. Words cannot express how much I love and miss my son. We receive signs and for that I am so very thankful. I will see him again and what a glorious reunion that will be!

    • Isabelle Siegel  January 25, 2021 at 10:20 am Reply

      Sandra, I’m truly so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the pain you are experiencing. Your insight into Evan’s death is so important… You’re absolutely right: There is no one type of person who is vulnerable to depression or who chooses suicide. I’m glad to hear that you can take some comfort in knowing you will be reunited with your son. All the best to you.

    • foxglove121@hotmail.co.uk  March 9, 2021 at 6:59 am Reply

      Dear Sandra
      Your words touched my heart as I too am grieving my 32 year old son who we buried in December. I am with you in your horror because that is what it feels like to me…a second to second horror of realisation …like a punch to my stomach…like a sign before my eyes, I am continually shocked by this reality. I ache…I know you do too…x

    • Mary  March 11, 2021 at 3:50 am Reply

      I feel exactly the same my son died from leukemia 2 and a half years ago he was 33, yes my heart broke into a million pieces, everyday when I wake my first thought is that I lost my son and life is filled with this feeling of complete loss. All the words in the list I can relate to. I made up a word and that word is otherly, I feel as though I don’t belong here. I haven’t been able to dream about my son, I would love to, I believe I will see him one day, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane.

  15. Lesley  January 19, 2021 at 6:04 pm Reply

    I met David when I was 14. Fell in love with him when I was almost 16, and we married when I was 21. We were married for forty years. He died just under two and a half years ago. He is on my mind constantly no matter what I do. He was my entire life as we couldn’t have children. I came to Spain for Christmas as I was invited and I go back to my roof and walls on 11/2. I miss David with every single part of me. I cried this morning but had to pull myself together as I was looking after their special needs son. I play ball with him for hours every day. David, my precious husband and I couldn’t have children. I desperately wanted a part of David in the way of a child. That was denied us. My reason for living is gone. I can’t see him or hold or love him ever again. It is like some horrible nightmare that just won’t go away. I have nothing to live for. I don’t want another animal. Been there and worn the T shirt. I have no family to speak of and our so called friends have gone into hiding. I no longer belong in Spain and neither do I belong in England. My life, my home, my rock, my everything was in my beautiful inside and out husband. The thought of never seeing him ever again kills me. I don’t know where he is in the part of me that cannot let him go.

    • Isabelle Siegel  January 25, 2021 at 10:23 am Reply

      Lesley, I’m truly so sorry for your loss and for the tremendous pain you are experiencing. I’m also sorry to hear that you feel so alone… You may want to check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/unique-loneliness-grief/ I also recommend you give this a read: https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-recovery-is-not-a-thing/ Please know that it’s okay to continue to grieve David… Your grief is what connects you to him. That being said, I am confident that you will find a way to go on. Perhaps you should seek out the support of a therapist trained in grief and bereavement, which you can find here: https://complicatedgrief.columbia.edu/for-the-public/find-a-therapist/. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, or even if you just need someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ All the best to you.

    • Jan  April 2, 2021 at 9:00 pm Reply

      Lesley, my heart aches for you. I am in a similar situation. We too could not have children and my husband is my family. I too went away for the first Christmas to a friend’s in Florida, a change of scene but I cried a lot and my friend, who’s unmarried, didn’t really understand my grief. The second Christmas (just gone) I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening; lockdown meant that large get togethers were impossible anyway. I too feel like I don’t belong anywhere on earth. But, whilst I ache and am in anguish and am in such emotional turmoil waking up to the living nightmare of every day, I believe I will be with my husband again one day. My pastor friend had a vision of my husband and myself in heaven with a multitude of adopted children who need loving parents. How do you know you and your husband will not be together again? Remember love never fails, never dies.

  16. Linda Davis  January 10, 2021 at 9:46 pm Reply

    A few years ago my grandsons best friend died in his arms. His friend suffered a fatal cerebral aneurysm while they were having fun at one of the waterfalls in our community. It was even more traumatic because before being told by the doctors what the cause of death was, the grieving mother in complete despair railed against my grandson and accused him of killing her son.
    Last night was the first time he shared the event with me. His pain is still overwhelming him and negatively impacting his life. I will always listen and console, but this is way above my skill level. Please advise me.

  17. Lisa  January 8, 2021 at 12:54 am Reply

    Since my dad died, I’ve been calling my experience “Crazy, Twisted Grief” This article described what I have feeling almost exactly!!! I have been thinking that there is something terribly wrong with me The thoughts and feelings have been very difficult to understand

    • IsabelleS  January 8, 2021 at 1:42 pm Reply

      Lisa, what an apt title for the grieving process! I hope this article has shown you that absolutely nothing is wrong with you… You’re just grieving, and that’s okay! Everything you’re going through is normal and valid. You may also be interested in this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-makes-you-crazy2/ All the best to you.

  18. Anne  January 6, 2021 at 2:26 am Reply

    Grief is the highest price we pay for loving someone !
    I lost my mum yesterday morning at 4.45
    Covid robbed me of being the daughter I was for the last week of mums life ….
    I didn’t lay with her .. I didn’t nuzzle her neck or stroke her hand -I am truly ashamed !
    I am devastated … drowning … and can’t come to grips with the feeling of forever …..half of my heart died yesterday
    No one is ever ready to lose their mum! Or anyone they love for that matter x

    • IsabelleS  January 6, 2021 at 10:35 am Reply

      Anne, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine the pain you are feeling… My heart goes out to you. You’re right: Losing a loved one is hard enough, but COVID is definitely making it all the harder. You may want to check out this resource: https://whatsyourgrief.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Grief-Covid-Document.pdf All that you’re feeling right now is normal and okay. Be gentle with yourself.

    • Julia Diaper  January 7, 2021 at 8:19 am Reply

      I lost my sister on 16.12 20 she was 54.. she also died alone in hospital due to Covid I am absolutely heartbroken it’s eating away at my heart and I’m so angry. My sister was my life we went through abuse as children and were split up as I went into care she has left a great big hole in my heart that will be empty forever.i hope you heal soon my darling.x

      • Anne  January 13, 2021 at 2:47 am

        I am so sorry for you loss Julia
        …mum was ill in hospital for a week I am tormented and agonise over the last 7 days …as I couldn’t be there …. when I look back at that week … I don’t recognise myself as the daughter I had been all my life …. no condolences can help erase the week of agony and ease my guilt as being so matter of fact that week. Just going through the motions ! It has hit me like a ton of bricks … in the dead of night who is there to talk to me and save me from drowning ..and ease the pain that my mum died .. I was not there and so mum was alone and frightened
        I am so tired !

      • IsabelleS  January 13, 2021 at 12:45 pm

        Anne, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the pain you are going through. I hear that you feel guilty over not being with your mother when she passed. Please give this article a read: https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-and-grief-2/ I can’t tell you not to feel guilty, but I hope you can forgive yourself. You were the best daughter you knew how to be. All the best.

  19. Rania  January 5, 2021 at 8:23 am Reply

    Just this morning I saw my grandma’s dead body. I have been feeling hollow. My uncle died when I was five, but I was too young and detatched to feel the grief. I’m fifteen now. I don’t really know whats going on, everything is so unsettling

    • IsabelleS  January 5, 2021 at 12:32 pm Reply

      Rania, I’m so sorry for your loss and that you had to experience this. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it was seeing your grandmother in that way. The hollowness you’re feeling is normal and okay… You may want to check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/feeling-nothing-during-grief/ I hope this website shows you that, no matter what, you’re not alone. All the best.

  20. Rhonda  January 1, 2021 at 11:08 pm Reply

    I am an only child. My mom was diagnosed with a rare cancer in January 20th, 2020. Even at 52 yers old, I was in tears, when the ER physician told me. I immediately left work, and called my mom. I live an hour and 45 minutes from my parents, and after I rushed to get my own family situated, I drove to be with them at 3AM that next morning.
    I was with my mom and dad for her doctor, oncology appointments, and a 3 day hospital stay the following week. I took care of my mom until Covid hit. I ended up getting pneumonia-NOT COVID RELATED, and had to stop helping my mom, due to her compromised immune system. She was well taken care of, as I recovered.
    She started feeling better in June 2020, and even her oncologist thought the chemotherapy medication was shrinking her enlarged spleen.
    In Mid July 2020, she started feeling worse. More tests were done. The Chemotherapy medication was not working, and she was given 2 weeks-two months of life left. Hospice care was ordered in early August 2020.
    She only lasted 5 days….before God called her home.

    Two days prior, her two siblings were at my parents home. The noise was overwhelming, and my dad could not take it. He went to visit their neighbor both days, to avoid the noise.
    The day before my mom passed, my husband knew her time was short.
    My mom was out on a pain medication schedule, snd my best friend/sister for over 40 years, stayed with me, to help.
    On August 9th, 2020, hospice knew she had a very rough night before. It was instructed/suggested that all visitors let my mom rest.
    As I tried calling my Aunt, to let her know that visitors should wait, and let my mom rest. Her siblings were very upset. They went as far to demand to talk to our hospice nurse, instead of taking my word.
    After talking to my husband on the phone, I knew this would turn out bad, if my mom passed, with out her siblings having a short visit. (Please know that I even with my medical career, this was my first time dealing with hospice. I was emotional. I was losing my mom💔😭💔).
    I tried calling, texting, and begged her siblings and their spouses to visit. I apologized over and over via text. (Nobody would respond to my calls or texts 💔😭).
    I begged them over 6 times to visit my mom. No response. My mom was given morphine, the last few hours of her life. I am a medical assistant, and certified nursing assistant for over 35 years. I was capable of giving her the small doses of morphine for her pain. I called a hospice helper, my best friend came back to the house, and a close cousin drove from northern Nebraska to support me, my mom, and keep dad company.
    I was laying next to my mom, told her how much I loved her, and with a faint whisper…she said I love you too sweetheart ❤️! Within 20 minutes….she took her last breath, as I was laying beside her, and holding her hand💔😭😭💔!
    My dad, cousin, best friend/sister, and our Hospice helper….heard me cry out “NO! I need you mom! Do t leave me💔😭💔”! Everyone ran into her room, in tears.
    God called her home at 6:23PM.
    Within a few minutes I went into “Drill Sargent Mode”.
    Told my cousin and best friend to call our Hospice nurse, and our GoId friend from our church.
    Dad and I laid next to mom, and had out time alone with her.
    We let family know, and my moms siblings refused to talk to me or my husband during the viewing, rosary, mass, snd dinner after we Kaufman her to rest💔😭💔!

    Now, I have been disowned by my moms siblings💔😭!
    My husband recorded a call to our Hospice nurse, and confirmed I did an amazing job taking care of my mom, charted the times she was given her medication, and even charted any complications. (Mom refusing her meds, oxygen, etc,).

    I stayed with my dad fir two weeks after my mom passed. I continued to drive and stay 3 days a week with my dad, and hired someone to help clean, fix dad lunch, and take care of anything he needs when I am not there.
    I ended up having emergency abdominal surgery in October. After I got out of the hospital, I received a large letter of hate from my uncles wife. It left me shaking. I did nothing wrong. The next day, I received a long letter in an envelope. I was in so much pain, I could not deal with another hate letter. We returned it.

    Now, we told our story in a letter. I tried to communicate with my moms sister a few weeks ago.
    She is blaming me for so many things, the day mom passed. Please know I did everything I could to have my moms siblings visit in August 9th. I am hated for the first text about no visitors, then realized this was not good a few minutes later. Begging my moms siblings to see mom one last time was ignored.
    Sorry this is so long

    • IsabelleS  January 4, 2021 at 1:27 pm Reply

      Rhonda, I’m so sorry for your loss and to hear that you’re going through all of this. My heart goes out to you. You did nothing to deserve the treatment you are getting from your mother’s siblings. You may want to check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/family-fighting-after-a-death/ All the best.

  21. Debra B  December 26, 2020 at 3:49 pm Reply

    My precious son took his life the first week in March of 2020. He was 41, a loving husband and father of 2. It was completely unexpected and a horrific shock to everyone who loved him. I am devastated. Our Covid lockdown started 4 days after his funeral so our family could not get together and grieve. It’s been a nightmare. I feel aimless and immobilized. I don’t have interest in anything. I am numb inside and can’t force myself to do anything. I miss my son so much and to see the grief on my daughter-in-law and grandchildren’s faces is almost more than I can bear. I feel like he took “me” with him and all I am now is the shell of the real me.

  22. Essie M Sampson-Pugh  December 22, 2020 at 9:58 pm Reply

    I listed my baby, my son on 2014 from a car accident, December 19, 2020 I losted my grandbaby son, someone murdered him. He was shot four times and my 💔 is hurting so so so badly! I am a total wreck right now…my grief is unexplainable!!!!🥶😭😭😭😭

    • IsabelleS  December 23, 2020 at 11:32 am Reply

      Essie, I’m so sorry for the multiple losses you’ve been forced to endure. My heart truly goes out to you. You may want to check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/cumulative-grief-aka-grief-overload/ Sometimes, feeling like a total wreck is normal and okay. Be gentle with yourself. All the best to you.

  23. Rae  December 20, 2020 at 1:42 pm Reply

    Burning – like every nerve ending is on fire.

  24. Monika Blair  December 18, 2020 at 12:41 pm Reply

    Grief makes me feel responsible. My mother-in-law died last month. She was like my mother. I keep replaying in my mind, “what could I have done differently?” Maybe…..999 scenarios play out in my mind. I’m not responsible. I couldn’t stop a grown lady from doing what she wanted.

    • IsabelleS  December 22, 2020 at 12:32 pm Reply

      Monika, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I think this article might be of some help to you: https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-and-grief-2/ I’m glad that you recognize you’re not responsible… Nonetheless, that doesn’t diminish the very valid feelings of guilt you’re experiencing. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel. All the best.

  25. Nina  December 17, 2020 at 9:42 pm Reply


    Stabbed in the stomach.

    I imagine the great abyss taking my mom away.


  26. Lauren Posner  December 17, 2020 at 3:29 pm Reply


    • Alexandra Ross Hutton  December 27, 2020 at 6:05 pm Reply

      My mum is dying she is terminal,it’s getting me down and she is not gone yet,will be worse when she does go,sad,mixed up,alone.

      • IsabelleS  December 28, 2020 at 11:34 am

        Alexandra, I’m very sorry to hear you’re going through this. I highly recommend you give this article a read: https://whatsyourgrief.com/anticipatory-grief/ It’s so normal and okay to begin grieving as soon as death becomes a possibility… long before death actually occurs. Please know that, no matter what, you’re not alone. All the best to you.

  27. Jennifer  December 17, 2020 at 1:31 pm Reply

    Grief to me is an open wound that keeps getting nudged, hit, or rubbed up against. It is not a deep gash or hole rather more like a severe brush burn, you know the type, where your skin is missing, it is bright red, and even air touching it hurts like hell. Even if I think I have come close to closing this open wound, someone comes along in my life whether it is friend, family, or a complete stranger starts to pick at the scab, and it hurts like hell all over again.

  28. Jeanne Benson  December 17, 2020 at 8:48 am Reply


  29. Jackie Miller  December 16, 2020 at 10:29 pm Reply

    My life is sad, but I find joy loving others. I have an 82 year mom that is not doing well. My daughter is not well. Too much detail to share right here.

    • IsabelleS  December 17, 2020 at 9:33 am Reply

      Jackie, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this! My heart goes out to you.

    • Monika Blair  December 18, 2020 at 12:42 pm Reply

      Keep your head up and remember your life has purpose. ❤️

  30. Jill Grun-Zawoyski  December 15, 2020 at 9:50 pm Reply

    Grief makes me feel that I am constantly fighting to find a solid place to stand. I claw my way from weeping to a quiet lull that will last for awhile depending on what distractions require temporary emotional stability–work? house? And then something happens that makes it all come roaring back at me again and I feel like this is going to go on and on forever.

    • IsabelleS  December 17, 2020 at 9:55 am Reply

      This is beautifully worded. Thank you for taking the time to comment and to share your perspective.

    • Nina  December 17, 2020 at 9:37 pm Reply

      Wonderful description for a not
      wonderful feeling.

    • S. Haven  February 9, 2021 at 1:54 pm Reply

      Yes, you say it well. Thank you

  31. Ghazala Khan  December 15, 2020 at 5:12 pm Reply

    Grief makes me feel sad and split apart because when I lost my beloved younger sister ten months ago I also lost my best friend my companion and I lost a part of myself – my sister was everything to me my life feels like a big gap without her. My family are very supportive all of them because they themselves have lost a daughter a sister and an Auntie

  32. Alicia  December 15, 2020 at 5:10 pm Reply

    unmoored, timid, bleak, incredulous, unrecognizable

  33. Cheryl Ramsay  December 15, 2020 at 4:38 pm Reply


  34. Cheryl Ramsay  December 15, 2020 at 4:37 pm Reply


  35. Cheryl Ramsay  December 15, 2020 at 4:36 pm Reply


  36. CAROLYN A TAYLOR  December 15, 2020 at 2:15 pm Reply

    Lost and alone. He was my companion for 28years. He passed away yesterday. I still wait for him to call my name, fix his meals, or pay bills for him. I just want him to come home. The past 14 years I was also his caretaker. He had been in pain for a long time. His immediate family is miles away. Handling his death is left to me.

    • IsabelleS  December 17, 2020 at 10:20 am Reply

      Carolyn, I’m so sorry for your loss and that you feel so alone. You may want to check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/unique-loneliness-grief/ I hope this website/community shows you that, no matter what, you’re not alone. All the best to you.

  37. Valerie  December 15, 2020 at 12:55 pm Reply

    My father passed away a little over a year ago. I’m still shocked, devastated, hopeless, can barely function, and I feel extreme emptiness! I merely exist now and life has no meaning anymore

  38. Eileen Rennie  December 15, 2020 at 11:23 am Reply

    Grief makes me feel shipwrecked

  39. Laumi  December 15, 2020 at 10:55 am Reply

    Grief makes me feel annihilated.

  40. Christine Madera  December 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm Reply


    • Joshua J. Mark  December 16, 2020 at 7:05 pm Reply

      Yes. It’s the worst feeling. I’m sorry you feel this way and sorry for your loss. I wish you all the best. – Josh

  41. Babette T  December 14, 2020 at 8:30 pm Reply

    I lost my dad in January this year, I was his caregiver. I have been crying everyday. I can’t focus on anything or make any decisions. I just feel stuck. I know my dad would not me to be upset, I feel as though I am letting him down. I want to find a way to honor his life, he was such a good person. My siblings are just moving on with their lives. I just hurt so much.

    • IsabelleS  December 15, 2020 at 11:35 am Reply

      Babette, I’m so sorry for your loss. Please allow yourself to be upset… Your dad would understand, I assure you. I hope this website/community brings you some comfort and shows you that, no matter what, you’re not alone.

    • Cheryl Ramsay  December 15, 2020 at 9:26 pm Reply

      I am so sorry. I was in your position in March 2014. My dad passed suddenly while my mom was actually the sick one with dementia/Alzheimer’s. It was too much on my dad. He passed one day before my Birthday, I was so numb. It took me a solid 5 years to get to an acceptance stage. I think of all good memories now. The pain “softens” but never leaves. As a caregiver you gave all you could & was actively helping him. You should know, he knew this. He was very satisfied with you “as a daughter.” If you have any questions please email me. I went to support groups for a while & with pandemic that’s difficult. I pray for your journey being filled with comfort, peace & strength. Please be kind to yourself and practice self-care, (it’s not selfish) Chiropractic, massage, meditation, yoga, hiking, whatever you enjoy. I played music a lot for a distraction. My dad was 85, Mom was 84 and they passed within 11 months of each other. (mom never found out dad passed away.) My 16 year old cat passed a couple months after my mom. It was a horrific, empty, dark year. Hold on & keep on taking a step to healing & wholeness. We are & we were broken, be patient & kind to yourself. And remember, they are in a place of love & light with no pain or worldly problems. We will meet again, they want to see us too & want us content while we are here. Take care.

  42. MarLo  December 14, 2020 at 8:17 pm Reply

    I lost my beloved 30 y/o son in June. My heart is broken. I feel like my life was for nothing. There is no happiness. How do I live the rest of my life w/o seeing him or hearing his voice or his great laugh, seeing his beautiful smile. 💔

  43. Joyce  December 14, 2020 at 7:59 pm Reply


    • Joshua J. Mark  December 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm Reply

      Yes – “Stigmatized” – this is quite an interesting experience – and not at all pleasant – as I cannot lose this feeling even two years after the loss of my wife. I still feel people – many of whom I’ve known my whole life – treating me quite differently than they did before. I’m very sorry for your loss, Joyce, and also that you have to feel this way. I wish there were some words of wisdom I could offer but I am in the same situation and have no idea how one addresses it. I went to grief therapy and received a lot of interesting advice in this regard but it doesn’t stop people from behaving as they do. All one can do is endure it. And I don’t particularly like that option so I just tend to avoid people now. All the best to you – Josh

  44. Seleen B  December 14, 2020 at 7:55 pm Reply

    Feeling devastated…
    Grief is a complicated process

  45. Maggie Kuhn  December 14, 2020 at 7:40 pm Reply

    Grief makes me feel terror. Terror at the truth that my son is dead. Terror at the yawning future of the rest of my life without my middle son. Terror that there is nothing I can do to change the fact that my beautiful Michael is no longer in physical form.

  46. Dorothy Maese  December 14, 2020 at 7:29 pm Reply

    I was grieving the loss of my MOM, I lived with her for 4 years. She was my best friend. I took care of her for awhile. She asked me ” do you mind if I die on your watch” I said “I would rather you die on my watch” I have 3 other sisters who took turns being with MOM. I returned from work at 5:00, my sister left. I held my MOM’S hand. Then sat on the chair and cried really hard, I heard a noise got up and held her hand again and she took her last breath. My life turned upside down. After 2 years I was still grieving. I tried to Commit suicide with pills. I don’t know how I dialed 911 in the morning because I don’t remember anything. I think i had help from my MOM. That was 2 years ago. I am doing really well now. I got the help i needed, and on medication. If you feel like you can’t handle your grief TALK TO SOMEONE PLEASE.

    • IsabelleS  December 15, 2020 at 11:42 am Reply

      Dorothy, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for taking the time to comment and to share your story. I’m so glad to hear about the progress you’ve made! To anyone who is thinking of hurting themselves, or even just needs someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

  47. Carol  December 14, 2020 at 6:41 pm Reply

    Stabbed over and over

    • Joshua J. Mark  December 16, 2020 at 6:51 pm Reply

      Yes. Stabbed over and over. And it keeps going on – the stabbing – even after you think you’ve done everything to make it stop. I try to console myself with that line from the play/movie “Shadowlands” – “The pain then is part of the happiness now. That’s the deal” – it’s small consolation when the stabbing is at its roughest but it is something. Wishing you all the best – Josh

  48. Anne Beaumont  December 14, 2020 at 6:25 pm Reply

    loss of identity

    • Joshua J. Mark  December 16, 2020 at 6:56 pm Reply

      Yes. Absolutely. “loss of identity” is quite difficult and I haven’t found a way to find that again. I heard a lot in grief therapy about embracing the “new normal” but it’s hard to do that when one is missing one’s actual self to connect with a “normal” anything. My wife and best friend of 30 years died two years ago. Our song was “Faithfully” and the line “Wondering where I am, lost without you” is more resonant now than ever it was when she was here. I know it may sound shallow just wishing you all the best but, unfortunately, that is all I have to offer. I don’t pray but I do send you all the best energies of light and hope – Josh

  49. Lili M  December 14, 2020 at 1:48 pm Reply

    Thanks so much, I lost my best friend last year and I’ve felt all of these ways. Along with “stupid” sometimes.

    • IsabelleS  December 15, 2020 at 11:48 am Reply

      Lili, thank you for taking the time to comment! I’m very sorry for your loss.

  50. Nicole  December 14, 2020 at 12:27 pm Reply

    (NEED TO ESCAPE) like I want to escape
    (UNBELIEVABLE) like I can’t believe this reality
    (WONDERING) like I wonder if everybody feels like this
    (PLEASE CHANGE IT) like I want it to be different

    • Jackie Miller  December 16, 2020 at 10:34 pm Reply

      I feel like this too. It’s so hard to describe my thoughts. My heart goes out to u too, because I can feel your pain.

      Big BIG HUGGS

  51. Karen Bennett  December 13, 2020 at 9:18 pm Reply

    I lost my husband 1 year ago. No one calls me . My brothers and sisters. My neighbors say nothing to me.

    Oh,but when they need money,they ask me for it. I m sick of uncaring people. If I visit my sister,she wants money. I have a horrible family.

    • IsabelleS  December 14, 2020 at 11:14 am Reply

      Karen, I’m truly so sorry for your loss. I hear that you feel really alone in your grief… It’s so hard to have an unsupportive family. Can you try communicating your needs to them? All the best.

    • Dennis Wasko  December 14, 2020 at 9:04 pm Reply

      Karen i might know how your feeling, I pray for people like us

    • Christine  December 14, 2020 at 10:16 pm Reply

      My family is awful as well. You are not alone. They have never even embraced me in a hug after losing my daughter.

      • IsabelleS  December 15, 2020 at 11:31 am

        Christine, I’m so sorry for your loss and to hear that your family has been unsupportive.

    • Susan  December 15, 2020 at 9:17 am Reply

      When my first husband died, people around me acted horribly. That was a long time ago. Only a few of the people I had in my life then do I have now. I went to support groups and found people who had the same values as I did. Most weren’t my family members. We make our family. I know with Covid it is a difficult time to make new relationships- but it will pass and the next set of people you choose to have in your life you will select with a different set of eyes. Good luck! Susan

    • Joshua J. Mark  December 16, 2020 at 6:46 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Karen. I have the same situation with my family. It’s quite difficult. My wife and best friend died two years ago and I never – or almost never – hear from any of my family even though they live close by. I can only think to understand them because I’ve always been the caretaker in the family and they’re not used to dealing with a shift in the dynamic. Perhaps this is the same for you? This does not excuse their behavior but maybe makes it understandable. I agree with Susan – we make our own family – but it is hard when you have family, especially close by – who do nothing to care for you, especially after such a loss. I wish you all the best. – Josh

    • Jennifer  December 17, 2020 at 1:37 pm Reply


      I think we have the same family.

      At some point you will hit that fork in the road. Are they worth it? For me, I walked away from them quietly and silently and never looked back.

      Much of my anxiety and pain of family is now gone… no regrets and no I don’t miss them.

      Sometimes you are stronger on your own… don’t let this additional pain get the better of you!

    • anonymous  December 20, 2020 at 8:21 pm Reply

      Dear Karen, and all who posted a response.

      I had to learn a new language.

      I no longer use the word “family”, as it implies warmth, caring, support, acceptance, love.

      I now say “relatives”, or “distant relatives”, when thinking or speaking of those many, many absent people.

      I spent so long waiting and hoping for something loving to come my way from so many of them.

      I now am beginning to truly accept that I am alone, and it is by their choice, not mine.

      I have rejected no one.

      I have kept my word and my integrity in all of this.

      I have made no one pay a price for my grief.

      Above all, I have learned that when people walk away from you, it is best to let them go.

      “Friend” is also a precious word.

      My husband was my best friend. For 38 years.

      I keep his picture nearby– frequently in my pocket– and I know that I am never alone.

      And I talk out loud to him all the time. It’s the only time I truly feel connected to this life, and it’s the time I truly can smile and laugh as I listen for his voice from the place where he is now.

      Just 2 days ago in the dentist’s office, when I was really scared, what came on the radio? The song, “My Girl” by The Temptations.

      John used to sing that song to me, with his beautiful blue eyes and his bright sunny smile and the little dance he used to do wearing his favorite yellow sweatshirt.

      I have been so loved by one man, and I am so grateful.

      So that is what I remember, as all the others fade away.

      • IsabelleS  December 21, 2020 at 10:52 am

        I’m so sorry for your loss and to hear that you’re going through this. My heart truly goes out to you. It sounds as though you are navigating this situation with grace. Sometimes our “family” is not those who are related to us, but rather those who “get” us. You may want to check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/found-family-in-grief/ I hope you know that the What’s Your Grief community is here for you and that, no matter what, you are not alone. All the best to you.

      • anonymous  December 22, 2020 at 12:01 pm

        Dear Isabelle S.,

        I believe you have misunderstood my message.

        I am now FREE from the circus of this “family” insanity.

        So no need for sorrow on my behalf!

        I’d much rather have you celebrate with me the independence I am feeling.

        These past 4 years have been very destabilizing for me, as promises were made and not kept, and my few actual requests for help denied.

        I could go on with details, yet would rather not live in this dead past.

        I am planning a nice full vegetable garden for 2021, and will continue to show up in the world in small, kind ways.

        I’m not one for a big online life– I’d much rather be outdoors puttering around, or indoors, with music playing.

        I am grateful for the devoted and loving marriage that John and I created together, and so that is what I remember.

        Our love is what sustains me.

        Cheers to you, and to all.

      • IsabelleS  December 23, 2020 at 11:46 am

        My apologies for the misunderstanding! I see what you meant now. I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well. Freedom looks great on you!

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