Have you heard someone say, “my heart is breaking?” or “my stomach is in knots?” Most likely, we often overlook how close to a truth those statements may be, especially in the context of grief. We are exceptionaly well-wired. As we experience grief, we tend to feel it on every level. There’s a physical, emotional and spiritual response. We hurt in each of those ways.
As a therapist, it’s not uncommon for me to meet with an individual referred by their medical provider. They may have sought assistance in dealing with sleep disturbance or chest pains, stomach distress or headaches. As they talked it over, they often learned these sorts of symptoms can go hand-in-hand with the experience of grief. Counseling may be suggested as well as strictly physical approaches to their distress.
Trust that this is not a sign of hypochondria or psychosomatic disorder. I firmly believe that healing is best facilitated when care is given to the whole person. We are well served by drawing upon as many resources as possible.
Have you experienced a clear physical aspect to your grief?