physical symptoms of grieving

My dad passed away 3 weeks ago, it already see.s like years since I spoke to him last. I thought I was doing ok but my body seems to have given up. I ha e no energy at all, falling asleep all the time. My poor husband comes home from a 12 hour shift and I've only just managed to shower. My headache is piercing, painkillers just make me more sleepy. I suffer with chronic widespread pain & fatigue normally but managed to look after dad until he passed. This feels different to my normal fatigue. Has a tone else had these physical symptoms? Is this grief?

  • Hi  

    People tend to be so focused on the emotional impact of grieving that perhaps we're less tuned into the physical side. I personally can offer only sympathy and condolences but no direct experience of what you describe. Bearing in mind that you have chronic fatigue and pain, is it possible that you were running on adrenaline and determination in your father's last few weeks and months and now it's all just caught up with you?

    Do you have an opportunity to see your pain and fatigue specialist to ask for help? Perhaps you can get them to assess whether what you have now is some kind of temporary emotional trauma-induced extra pain (as you say, the physical signs of grief) that will return to your 'normal' with time or whether your pre-existing condition is the cause and might be treated with more or different medication.

    Either way, I hope with time that you'll start to feel a bit more energy and a lot less pain.

    Best wishes


    “Scars are tattoos with better stories.” – Anonymous

  • Hi, my dad also passed away three weeks ago and lately I have looked in the mirror and been convinced that I look ill myself.  Tiredness is definitely something which I have experienced since he passed away.  I only realised the extent of this when I nipped out to give my husband a lift one day and realised that I was so tired, I shouldn't have even been driving.

    I haven't felt the physical pain that you have spoken about but definitely fatigue.  Take care of yourself.

  • Hi... my dad passed away on the 1st of March. 

    Had a long two year battle with primary Kidney Cancer but had Mets in spine and lungs. 

    In the end he was riddled with the horrible disease and lost his battle. 

    Since losing him I have felt so ill. Chronic migraine like headaches, fatigue, high temperature everyday but no sign of a cold etc, aching, indigestion and anxiety. 

    I've been to the doctors and am awaiting a urine test results but nothing the doctor seems to be worried about.

    Like someone has said before, all the worry, adrenaline, heart ache has built up over time whilst looking after loved ones; is beginning to show.

    It's very hard xx

    Oev x

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply.I hope you soon start to feel better. I hope as time passes the pain gets less.


  • Thank you Barbara. I am trying to take less medication so I don't want to ask for more. Any stress seems to make my situation worse so I think that's what's happening. I get a lot of support from here.

  • It does take it's toll, physically.  I'm 5 months out from losing Dad, and it does get easier, but it is incredibly hard.  You have to be very very good to yourself and keep your expectations low, physically and mentally.  I have had reflexology and massage and they have been very helpful, it might be worth while looking for a local support group that offers that kind of thing.  I was (and still am, some days) completely exhausted and really didn't do anything at all in the beginning, after the funeral.  It's so hard isn't it, you can't figure out what is normal because NOTHING is normal anymore.  

  • Yes Angela. My husband died 2 months ago and since I have felt really quite ill with fatigue, nausea, dizziness, giddiness, headaches and aching back, sore hip etc. I know it is from the stress of coping well for so long, running on adrenaline, caring for Tom at home then the practical things that had to be done until yes my body seems to be saying 'look after me now'. I feel like I have continuous jetlag or motion sickness along with a virus but I know it is grief. My brain is like mush. But I do think I am improving slowly.

    These physical effects have surprised me though. I have been for a couple of massages that I think help and am making sure I eat well; trying to get some exercise though my hip is an issue for which I am going to physio - probably a result of heavy lifting over a period of time. But I am so pleased I was able to care for my Tom till he died peacefully at home. Grief is the price we pay for loving someone so maybe not such a burden then but something to live with in the moment and now care for ourselves until we heal and are replenished. 

    All the very best, Jan

  • Hi,I lost my mum 2 years ago from heart failure (not cancer related),I can tell you that you feel exhausted even when you don't do anything,grief is a terrible thing because you really can't explain how you feel but you know it's not right.I miss my mum every day and that never changes i don't think but you kind of learn to live with it.I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 weeks ago and starting chemo next week and I am taking strength from happy memories of my wonderful mum and I'm weirdly glad that she hasn't got to worry about me.Stay strong and sleep when you need to,its the only sorry for your loss.

    Positive thoughts rule!vg.

  • Hello, I lost my dad to cancer last Sunday, 7 months from diagnosis.  Apart from the emotional feelings I am very very tired and have no energy or strength.  Even the simplest of tasks tires me out.

  • Hi to Briarwood and all of you who have recently been bereaved. I lost both of my parents and a brother to cancer several years ago now. You will not believe it when you first lose a loved one, but things do get easier as time passes. The the pain eventually goes and you can remember them with a smile instead of a tear. But do not underestimate the battle you have gone through as well as your loved one. You need a period of healing and recovery - caring is a physical and emotional struggle that takes its toll on you. Be kind to yourselves. The tiredness will pass but do not be afraid to seek help if things just feel like too much. You have made a brilliant start just by joining this group. A big hug to you x