What to Expect When You Are Grieving

Deb Kosmer lists expectations for your journey through grief.

by Deb Kosmer

  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Expect to be different than you were.
  • Expect that life will be different.
  • Your expectations for yourself may be too high.
  • Other people’s expectations of you almost certainly will be too high or unrealistic.
  • Expect that, even when you start to have good days, there will still be bad days. That is the nature of grief.
  • Two steps forward, two steps back.
  • There is no formula.
  • Expect to need others. Grief is difficult enough. It is more difficult if you try to do it alone.
  • Expect that you will have questions. The questions may have to do with grief itself, the death of your loved one and/or may even be questioning God himself.
  • Expect that, for some questions, there will not be answers and when there are, they may not be acceptable to you.
  • Many people question why they are still here. You may, also. This kind of questioning is usually a search for finding meaning and a reason to go on and is not usually indicative of suicidal thoughts.
  • Expect that, while you can do things to aid in your healing, it will happen on its own timetable, not yours.
  • Expect that special days such as birthdays and anniversaries will be more difficult. Plan for them.
  • Expect to be caught unaware by things that make you think of your loved one and invoke happy or sad feelings. These are called triggers.
  • Expect to feel the sun again. Expect feelings of hope to return. Expect that life will be good again and, one day, it will.

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