The most common reaction on hearing of the death of someone close to you is shock. Shock can affect you for a few days or a number of weeks.
Shock is common after the loss of a loved one. Shock symptoms can include both a bodily and emotional response in the same person. It's possible that you'll experience dizziness, nausea, confusion, numbness, or even exhaustion. Feeling stunned may cause you to doubt the veracity of what you're hearing.
Talk to professionals, family and friends to help gain perspective about the death and decrease feelings of guilt. Become educated about the cause of death. Accept rather than deny your feelings, even unpleasant ones such as anger. Be active in making choices about engaging in activities and rituals.
Shock is typically experienced as one of the first stages in the grief process, and eventually it wears off. For some, shock recedes very quickly. For others, shock lasts for hours or days. Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way to experience shock.
Shock and Numbness: This phase immediately follows a loss to death. In order to emotionally survive the initial shock of the loss, the grieving person feels numb and shut down. Yearning and Searching: This phase is characterized by a variety of feelings, including sadness, anger, anxiety, and confusion.
The most frequent immediate response following death, regardless of whether or not the loss was anticipated, is shock, numbness, and a sense of disbelief. Subjectively, survivors may feel like they are wrapped in a cocoon or blanket; to others, they may look as though they are holding up well.
The feeling of disbelief that follows the death of a loved one is an adaptive and temporary response—one that protects from the pain of loss and allows a survivor to manage all of the details that follow a death.
At the first shock of loss, experiences and conversations can be blurred or hazy. You may not yet feel any of the deep feelings of grief. People in shock often appear to be behaving normally without a lot of emotion because the news hasn't fully sunk in yet.
The loss of meaning
Sudden bereavement often removes people from our lives who are significant, close and central to us, who were not expected to die now; such as a life partner, father, son, brother, mother, daughter or sister. People who are significant to our lives can provide us with immense security and purpose.
There is no timeline for how long grief lasts, or how you should feel after a particular time. After 12 months it may still feel as if everything happened yesterday, or it may feel like it all happened a lifetime ago. These are some of the feelings you might have when you are coping with grief longer-term.
Sudden bereavement is a type of trauma. Although it affects everyone differently there are common factors that influence a person's reaction: Whether or not the person was present at their loved one's death. If they were present, were they also injured or at threat of an injury.
It is natural for people who are facing death, as well as those they leave behind, to move through many stages of grief. For survivors, the grieving process can last for several months or for 2 to 3 years or more.
Distributive shock is the most common type of shock, followed by hypovolemic and cardiogenic shock. Obstructive shock is relatively less common. The most common type of distributive shock is septic shock and has a mortality rate between 40 to 50%.
Is sudden cardiac death painful? Some people have chest pain during the initial seconds of sudden cardiac arrest. However, once you lose consciousness, you don't feel pain.
Many conclude that unexpected death is easier on the person who dies, but harder on the survivors. Expected death gives time to prepare and say goodbyes, is predictable, makes sense, offers chance to wrap up unfinished businesses, provides an opportunity to honor wishes, stretches out grief, etc.
A tragic death magnifies those feelings. In fact, a 2014 study¹ by Keyes, et al, noted that, “unexpected death was associated consistently with elevated odds of new onsets of PTSD, panic disorder, and depressive episodes at all stages of the life course.”
Symptoms of shock include low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, anxiety and fatigue.
The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.
Within hours, blood is pulled downwards, causing splotches on the skin. Because the heart is no longer pumping blood around the body, it starts being pulled down by gravity. As the blood pools, patches appear on the skin within 30 minutes of death.
Working through the grief process and allowing it to run its natural course is what needs to happen in order for a person to truly realize that he/she can be happy again. For some people, it takes a long time to get to the stage of grief that involves hope and a willingness to be happy again.
Emotionally: Sadness, anger, disbelief, despair, guilt and loneliness.
Because it is a gradual process of weaning and disconnection, the shock that is felt after the death of a loved one may continue for weeks, months, or even years, in waves of disbelieving aftershocks.
The body goes into shock when it can't get enough blood to the vital organs like your heart or brain. This may be caused by a sudden illness, an injury, or bleeding. Sometimes even a mild injury will lead to shock. Shock is a life-threatening condition.