Response #
Person who died
Past experience of grief
Respondent details
25-34 | Male | British
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
My Granddad
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
The day of the bereavement I felt very shocked and struggled to process the loss and finality of it. The following weeks, i felt numb and had to partake in several religion ceremonies. This felt very intense as it included a vigil around my granddad's body. I also felt that i could not show my emotions to extended family and therefore had to supress my emotions and grief during the day. When i went home I would find myself very emotional and spent a lot of time crying. Following the funeral, I felt very flat and deflated which lasted several months. I no longer enjoyed activities that I had previously enjoyed which lasted approximately a year.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
During the planning of the funeral, there were several family disagreements with extended family (mother's brothers). People's views differed on how the ceremony took place. Emotions were high and people were quick to get angry with each other. Traditionally the 'men' take over the household following the bereavement of a father figure and this created a lot of animosity as the men excluded my mum from the funeral arrangements. To this day I no longer talk to my mum's brothers.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
it felt like the world had turned from colour to black and white, this lasted for about six months. it felt like there was a barrier between myself and the outside work, that i could see it but not quite interact with it.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
Time slowed down. Days seemed to be very long. That year seemed to last forever.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
Initially I felt like i couldn't breathe and there was a hand pressing on my chest. My body felt very heavy.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
My ability to interact with others and socialise was impacted. I didn't want to interact with others. My work remained the same, however it required extra effort to complete the relevant tasks.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
When i would first go to my granddad's old house (for the first three months), i would hope that i would see them/expect them to be there.
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
During celebrations as my granddad would love to take part in this. Therefore Christmas/birthdays/father's day. When something positive happened (promotion etc) I would be aware. When i went to my grandma's house i would be very aware of my granddad's absence and this made it difficult to visit for some time.
Q11: People who are grieving often report experiencing the presence of the person who died. Have you had any experiences that you would describe in those terms?
Q12: Do you still feel a sense of connection with the person? If so, could you say something about when you feel this and what the experience is like?
Random moments if i see someone driving who looks like my granddad. When i pass my granddad's old place of work. Sometimes it is a positive feeling where i feel connected to the person and remember positive memories.
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
Look at old pictures/videos.
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
I found myself emotionally eating, which in the short term made me feel better but long term made me feel worse.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
I didn't massively talk to people about my experience. I often felt as it was my 'granddad' people would not understand how close I was him and think that I was being over emotional and shouldn't be impacted the way I was. (this was my own thinking).
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
My perception of life has changed as it made me realise how fragile life can be and how quickly it can change in a second. I've therefore tried to be more appreciative of life in general.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?