Eleven years ago today, my grandfather passed away very suddenly. While life has moved on, I've gotten married, and my sisters have had children, it still feels weird that he is gone. I don't think I'm still grieving, but I definitely still feel sadness over it.

Now if you have recently lost a loved one and are grieving, there are some physical signs that you should be aware of.

  • Changes in sleep patterns is something to be weary of. If you're sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all anymore, you should take notice. Your internal clock is responding to the stress that you are feeling with your loss of a loved one. This can harm other parts of your life, so actively try to get back onto your normal sleeping schedule.
  • Inability to concentrate which makes sense because there is something else that you are focused on whether you need to help make arrangements, or because your grief is just overwhelming. Just know that there are always other people around you that can help you while you grieve. You are not alone.
  • Greater vulnerability to illness because stress can lower your immune system and leave you more prone to getting sick. So while you might be grieving, make sure you wash your hands and try to stay away from others who might get you sick.

Whether you lost a loved one last week, last year, or last decade, I understand that grief expresses itself in different ways. It may change over time, but it may never fully go away.