What are the emotional effects of bereavement?

Although losing someone close is a highly personal life event, most of us tend to share the same range of emotions and reactions. Realising that these feelings are normal can help you get through such a difficult time. Below you will find four of the more common emotional effects of bereavement.

Of course, every one of us is different, and so, the way we cope with grief will differ greatly. The important thing to remember is that the feeling won’t last forever. Over time, you will come to understand these feelings and know what you need to do to manage them.

4 common emotional effects of bereavement


Grief can affect you mentally, emotionally and physically and it can also affect your relationships with others. If the passing of someone close was unexpected, you may feel like you should be able to carry on as normal, but you can’t.

When you’re bereaved, it’s difficult to cope with your day-to-day life when you feel like it is falling apart. Just remember that grief is a process that everyone goes through. It can make you feel a number of different emotions. These emotions aren’t wrong – they’re a normal process of bereavement.

Depression and emptiness

These feelings tend to strike when you come to terms with the death. Although this can be the toughest time, it is also when a lot of healing takes place. After this, people tend to feel better and are able to plan ahead.

Sadness is a common response to bereavement, but if this persists, it can progress into depression. If it feels like your sad feelings aren’t going away, you should contact your GP for further advice.


You may feel angry at the thought of your loss, or the lack of understanding from other people. You could even be angry at yourself because you didn’t have time to say the things you really felt, or you may feel angry at the person because they have left you alone.

All of these feelings are normal. The one thing you shouldn’t do is bottle them up. Counselling can offer a private space to explore the anger you are feeling with the aim of resolving it. It always helps to talk to someone about how you are feeling.


Your world has been turned upside down, so fear and anxiety are perfectly natural feelings to experience. You may feel like you don’t have any control over your life anymore. But as time goes on you will get used to coping, which in turn will make you feel more confident.

If your fearful thoughts and anxiety are persisting, talking to someone can help. If you’re struggling to talk to your loved ones or feel you have no one to talk to, you may benefit from speaking to a professional.

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Written by Ross East
Written by Ross East
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