The most important thing for a grieving person to do is to express their emotions. If they have difficulty talking about their problems, they should write down their thoughts, paint a picture, or use some other form of expression. Bottling up emotions may lead to chronic depression or lowered resistance to physical illnesses. Relaxation techniques or massage may also be of great benefit.

It is also important that someone who is grieving is kind to and patient with themselves. They may believe that life will never be the same again, but time does heal, and their anguish will lessen. If progress through the grieving process is slow, however, talking to a counselor who has received specific training in dealing with grief, such as those working for support groups, is advisable.


• If grief lasts for more than 18 months, seek professional help.

• If a depressed person is talking about suicide, alert their doctor or a counseling service.


Celia was 54 and was seen after her daughter had drowned while on vacation in Italy. Celia was distraught. She described feeling terrified upon waking at the realization that her daughter was dead, and feared that she was losing her sanity. She had received a lot of support from her church and did not want to take conventional drugs.


It was impossible to assess Celia at first due to her appalling grief. Normally, she would not be seen to cry, would bottle up her feelings, and be reluctant to confide in others. She hated fuss, but became irritated if not shown any attention. Celia felt that she had to be strong for others in times of crisis. Her greatest fear was of her home being broken into.


Celia craved salty and acidic foods, and liked starchy foods, but nothing slimy, such as shellfish. She disliked rich foods, meats, and coffee.


Celia felt better in the open air on cool days, but was exhausted by heat. She was worse if her eyes got tired, and was sensitive to noise.


Celia was treated with Phosphoric ac. A month later, she was still feeling guilty about her daughter's death and was given Nat. mur. This relieved the guilt, but Celia missed her daughter terribly. She tried several Bach remedies, and gradually improved until the anniversary of the death, when she developed cystitis. For this she was given Pulsatilla. Over several years she was treated homeopathically for a variety of ailments, including high blood pressure caused by the stress of caring for her granddaughter. Nat. mur. and relaxation therapy helped, but she also had to take hypotensive drugs. She was generally well until her son committed suicide 12 years after his sister's death. Celia sank into deep despair, angry that her family had been made to suffer so much. She was prescribed Ignatia and then Nat. mur. over four months, and was able to work through her anger and the depression that followed.


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