Those Crazy, Unpredictable Emotions

From the author: This is an article you can share, send, or forward to those others to help them understand the grieving heart a little better.

Grief is emotional!

“Where did all these emotions come from? And what do I do with them?” Stephen asked.

Grief is emotional. The grieving person’s heart has been hit, and they will most likely be more emotional than usual. This is natural and normal. You can care for and support them by being aware of this and accepting them as they are.

From the Grieving Heart…

My emotions are all over the place. 

At times the sadness is so intense I can hardly think. It's a cloud overhead I can't see through. It’s a tightness in my chest, a lump in my throat. It weighs me down. My shoulders sag. My head is heavy. It presses on the back of my eyes. 

I’m anxious, even fearful at times. I've had other losses, but this one is different. My heart is riddled with questions: What does this mean? How will I get through this? What's next for me?

I'm scared. I feel shaky. 

I’m confused. Are these crazy emotions normal? What are others thinking? Am I going to come out of this in one piece?

My head is spinning. I get overwhelmed even while tackling the smallest things.

I get angry. Why did this have to happen? Why now? Why us? Why me? 

I struggle with guilt. Things I said and didn't say. Things I did and didn't do. Mistakes swim before my eyes.

I’m often numb. At times I feel nothing at all. My heart shuts down. I’m stunned. Paralyzed.  

I’m a mess. Will I ever get it together?

Please be patient with me. I’m grieving. 


Grief is emotional

Grief is an emotional process. When loss comes, it hits the heart. Hard.  

Everyone has a natural balance of emotion and reason. This balance is different for all of us, influenced greatly by our backgrounds, experiences, and personalities. When grief strikes, emotion surges forward and often hijacks the heart. Multiple, seemingly contradictory feelings can assault us all at once. Emotion now occupies more space, and reason gets squeezed.

Many describe grief as an emotional roller-coaster. It’s unpredictable, unnerving, and bumpy. Most roller-coasters last a few minutes. This one has no time limit, and it’s anything but fun. Feeling overwhelmed, maxed out, or numb is often the result.

It’s not only the departure of the person that’s difficult, but all the other losses that begin piling up as well. The future has changed. Certain goals, dreams, and plans are no more. Relationships will feel the weight of the loss too. The collateral damage can be staggering.

Altogether, the emotional upheaval is enough to make a person feel crazy.

Make no mistake. Loss is tough. It hurts. Emotions explode and leak all over the place.


Are they more emotional? Be encouraged!

If the one grieving is more emotional than before, be encouraged. They should be. This emotional roller-coaster is natural and normal for grief. Your friend isn't crazy, but they are in a crazy situation compared to their usual routine.

They may be having trouble accepting themselves in this emotionally confusing state. Don’t try to talk them out of their feelings. It won’t work. Resist the temptation to try and make them feel better. You won’t be able to. Instead, accept them where they are, with all those nutty, up-and-down emotions. If you can, it just might help them accept themselves.

"Grief is emotional. No wonder your feelings are all over the place.

I accept you as you are."


Adapted from the newly released bestseller, Please Be Patient, I’m Grieving: How to Care For and Support the Grieving Heart

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About the Author
Gary Roe is an author, speaker, and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley. He is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child, Please Be Patient, I'm Grieving, HEARTBROKEN: Healing from the Loss of a Spouse, and Surviving the Holidays without You and the co-author (with New York Times Bestseller Cecil Murphey) of Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One. Visit him at
I'm Grieving, Now What?