What are common emotions after the death of a loved one?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
More than 2.5 million deaths occur in the United States every year. Doctors and therapists call this stressful and challenging period bereavement. Most individuals (80% to 90%) are able to cope with the loss of a loved one without professional intervention.

It’s normal for a person to experience feelings of numbness, intense feelings of sadness, anxiety for the future, or feelings of emptiness. It’s also normal for some to exhibit “searching behaviors,” including hallucinations of the deceased person’s presence, which may make one fear that he or she is going crazy, but these are normal experiences.
This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Grief & Emotional Health

Coping with Sudden Loss
Coping with Sudden Loss
Grieving the sudden loss of a friend or loved one can be difficult and heartbreaking. We spoke with licensed psychotherapist Julie Hanks, PhD, LCSW, o...
Read More
How can I comfort a grieving friend through phone calls?
Michael E. Hirsch, MDMichael E. Hirsch, MD
Call to express your sympathy. Try to steer clear of such phrases as "It's God's will" or "It's ...
More Answers
How do other illnesses affect emotional trauma?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Sometimes, illness itself can be a contributing cause of emotional trauma. Severe illness or the pro...
More Answers
Grieving Publicly and Starting a Dialogue
Grieving Publicly and Starting a Dialogue

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.