Middle stages of grief

Sadness, loneliness and regret

After a period of time, the raw emotions experienced in the early stages of grief will give way to a time of sadness, loneliness and regret. This is the second step of grief.

In these middle stages, people often experience waves of grief. One moment you are coping well, the next you are very tearful and miserable.

You might also experience other emotions including anger, fear, helplessness and guilt. Anger – this is a very normal reaction to the death of a loved one.

You may feel angry with yourself, for what you did or failed to do, with other people and their lack of concern or indeed with the person who has died. It is also common to feel anger with the doctors and the hospital staff.

With anger can come a general sense of agitation and impatience with people who don’t understand what you are going through. Fear and helplessness – you may also feel fearful.

Many things may be changing with the death of a loved one particularly if the person who has died was your partner. Any change in financial security, or accommodation or even family dynamics can be difficult but all coming at once can make you feel very helpless.

Guilt – a very natural reaction is to experience feelings of guilt. You may feel guilty that you are the one still alive, that you didn’t help more, that you weren’t sufficiently solicitous or didn’t appreciate how ill your loved one was.

It is also natural to think back and ponder on any hurtful comments that you might have made.

Very often people regret the things they wished they had said before it was too late.