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Reactions to Death

When someone you know dies, it can turn your life upside down. People grieve in many different ways over the death of someone close to them or even someone who they have watched their whole lives such as Queen Elizabeth II and they feel a connection with.


Read on as we outline the common and not so common reactions to death and grieving, and what you can do when you or someone you know is going through loss due to death at any given time.



Reasons why people react differently to death

Dealing with death, particularly the death of a close loved one, is one of the most stressful experiences anyone can go through. Everyone reacts differently to death, and it’s normal if you feel like you’re riding on a rollercoaster of different emotions. How people react to death can be affected by many things:


The type of relationship you had with the person: The type of relationship you'd with the person matters especially if you were close to the person, the death will affect you in a negative way. But if you didn't like the person you would be happy that the person is no longer and possibly rejoice.

  • Their gender: it's been k ow for men to not outwardly be able to express their grief and possibly do so through physical activity. Women are often more likely to want to share their feelings with others, talk about what’s happening or are more likely to openly cry.

  • Their cultural background: Different cultural groups deal with grief in different ways, including how they express their grief through some through rituals and ceremonies, and have different rules around what is considered respectful and not.

  • Your age: Younger children may not understand why a person isn’t coming back, or what death actually is. When we’re older, we understand that the person is gone forever, but may still find it difficult to take this fact on board.



Affects of Loss

  • Physically: Headaches, feeling tired, achy muscles and nausea.

  • Emotionally: Sadness, anger, disbelief, despair, guilt and loneliness.

  • Mentally: Forgetfulness, lack of concentration, confusion and poor memory.

  • Behaviourally: Changes to sleeping patterns, dreams or nightmares, or to your appetite. You might or might not want to go out or be around people. You may also experience unusual emotional reactions or feel weepy.

  • Socially: Some friends may avoid you because they don’t know what to say or how to help you. You might also feel pressure to be strong for family or friends, or you may not feel like seeing anyone.

  • Spiritually: Your beliefs may be challenged and you may struggle to have faith in the things that you once believed in.

Death is not easy as affects us all at some point on our lives, if you are affected and can not seem to be able to deal with your loss, speak to a professional who can help you find ways to deal and manage your with your loss.


Listen To Podcast S3 E22: Queen Elizabeth II


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