When Grief Gets Physical

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Monday, September 17, 2018

“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” – Earl Grollman

 

Losing a loved one is an emotionally painful experience that can have a real effect on the mind and body.

The best way to understand how grief can affect your health is to understand what bereavement entails: one, a major stressor; and two, loss of a close relationship. Close relationships help regulate our daily psychological and physical functioning. Their loss often leaves people feeling out of control and disoriented. Combined, it’s easy to see how grief can take a serious toll on our health. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, here are some of the most common physical symptoms to watch for:

  • Fatigue. One of the most common early symptoms of grief is extreme tiredness that makes even routine tasks difficult. You may feel run down, exhausted and weak.
  • Difficulty thinking clearly. The cognitive effects of grief can interfere with the ability to think clearly, to make decisions and judgments, and solve problems. Studies have associated bereavement with poorer memory performance and trouble concentrating.
  • Heart health and immunity decline. The emotional impact of grief is often described as “heartache” but the release of stress hormones associated with grief can cause actual cardiac problems. Stress affects the cardiovascular and immune systems by over-activating both, and in vulnerable people this leads to increased rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer. British researchers found that people who are grieving are more likely to have weakened immune systems and develop infections.
  • Appetite changes and digestive issues. Whether it’s significant increases or decreases, changes in appetite are normal with grief and many other life stressors. Even if your appetite is unchanged, you may experience feelings of nausea or other digestive issues that can come with grief and stress.

Grief is not an illness like the common cold, where you can expect to recover quickly and be as good as new in a few days. Dealing with grief is more like a marathon—it’s important to pace yourself and appreciate that your body is under stress. At this difficult time, practicing self-care is especially vital. If you need additional support, have questions, or just want someone to talk to about the grief you’re experiencing, please reach out to our caring team anytime.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization serving  three states, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations.  For more information, please call us at 215-549-4700 or visit our website.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

During Cold and Flu Season, Follow These Smart Ways to Stay Healthy

When everyone around you is sick, staying healthy can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...

Coffin or Casket? Six Considerations to Help you Choose the Right Memorial Product

The choice of a coffin or casket should not be taken lightly. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have some notable differences. Caskets and coffins both serve as burial contain...

Hosting a Reception after the Funeral? Follow These Six Helpful Guidelines

Hosting a reception after the funeral of a loved one presents an opportunity to demonstrate your enduring affection. The funeral reception gives mourners the chance to support each other, share fo...

Six Proven Ways to Calm Anxiety and Ease Stress

As stress levels rise, so does the need for self-care. Having effective ways to calm anxiety becomes even more essential amid challenging times. We all feel anxious from time to time. That sense o...

Coins on a Headstone Hold Special Meaning. Here’s Why.

Have you ever seen coins on a headstone? Leaving signs of remembrance on graves is a long-held tradition. While flowers are the most common grave decoration, they aren’t the only way to pay tribut...

Four Things You Need to Know If You are a Pallbearer or Honorary Pallbearer

The role of pallbearer or honorary pallbearer is both an honor and a great responsibility. The duties primarily consist of helping to carry or accompany the casket throughout a traditional funeral...

Four Essential Things to Know When a Death Occurs Away from Home or Out of Town

When a death occurs away from home or out of town, knowing what to do can greatly ease the burden for you and your loved ones. Today, people spend significant time away from their homes for vacati...

Honoring Your Loved One: Seven Beautiful, Personalized Tributes Using Cremated Ashes

Cremated ashes take on a new meaning when they are utilized creatively to fashion enduring tributes to loved ones who have passed on. Cremation has become the most popular funeral choice for Ameri...

Military Funerals: Six Creative Ideas for Honoring Your Departed Service Member

Transforming ordinary military funerals into highly personalized, meaningful occasions can be deeply healing. When an active-duty service member or veteran passes away, a meaningful final salute i...

Oh, My Aching Back! Seven Healthy Habits that Prevent and Ease Back Pain

You might be surprised to learn that 80% of Americans will experience back pain in their lifetime. Fortunately, simple self-help strategies can be effective at preventing and easing back pain. If...