Centennial Park 760 Goodwood Road Pasadena, South Australia, 5042. Gifts @ Centennial Park Hours: Monday to Friday – 9.00am to 4.00pm Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays – 10.30am to 3.00pm   |   Ph: Office: (08) 8276 6011
Wildflowers Cafe: (08) 8275 2257
Gift Shop: (08) 8275 2256
[email protected]

We acknowledge the Kaurna people are the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains and pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today.

Coping With Grief

Everyone reacts to the loss differently. There is no right or wrong way when dealing with grief as it is a very individual experience. Grief can impact on your body, emotions, thoughts and behaviours. Below are some examples of how grief may affect someone and some tips on how to help deal with grief.

Physical Reactions

The phrase ‘having a broken heart’ recognises that grief impacts on our physical health. Physical reactions could include:

  • increased susceptibility to minor illnesses (e.g. colds, viruses)
  • lack of energy, feeling tired and run down
  • heart palpitations
  • stomach upsets, diarrhoea, constipation or other gastrointestinal problems
  • sore or tense muscles or a feeling of weakness in the muscles
  • headaches
  • shortness of breath, may be accompanied by pain in the chest
  • disrupted sleep or appetite.


The mind can create powerful sensations and images. Your thoughts may be focused on the deceased person and your changed circumstances for some time. Some common thought reactions could include:

  • forgetting things easily or having difficulty taking in new information
  • becoming easily confused
  • sense of your loved one’s presence – ‘seeing or hearing’ the person who has passed away
  • mind going blank
  • preoccupation with the person who has passed away
  • mind racing out of control
  • trouble concentrating
  • dreaming of the deceased person.


When someone important to you has died, you will find yourself experiencing strong feelings. Some of these feelings may include:

  • sadness
  • shock
  • guilt
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • loneliness
  • sense of unreality
  • confusion
  • numbness
  • emptiness
  • devastation
  • helplessness
  • yearning or pining
  • relief
  • depression.

Whatever feelings you have, it is important to recognise them as a normal part of the process.


During the grieving process you may experience changes in behaviour. Some of these behaviours may include:

  • becoming withdrawn and quiet
  • wanting to talk about the deceased as often as possible
  • seeking out reminders of the deceased
  • avoiding reminders of the person who has died
  • losing interest in regular activities
  • crying
  • losing patience easily
  • restless overactivity or total inactivity
  • increased use of alcohol / drugs
  • voicing thoughts or wishes about being dead
  • not eating or overeating.

What can help at this time?

There are many things you can do to help yourself at this time such as:

How To Help A Friend

If you know someone who is grieving, you may be uncertain about what you can do to help them. Even if you feel the natural feelings of being unqualified or uncomfortable, there are still lots of things you can do to support your friend. Such as:

Things to avoid when supporting someone who is grieving:


The link below is a useful resource to gain information and help you or someone close to you deal with grief and loss.