Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hallucinations during the grieving process

After the death of a loved one, human or animal, a person may experience visual and auditory hallucinations. The grieving individual may believe that they have heard the individual/companion animal or have seen a passing glimpse of them. This phenomenon could be due to how habituated we are to that person/animal's presence and the impact that they had on our daily life.

When my elderly cat Audrey passed away I was convinced that I saw her and heard her in the house for several days after her passing. It was briefly comforting hearing and seeing her, but then the realization that she was gone would set in and cause intense waves of grief. She was a special needs cat and required a lot of care and attention. I believe it was due to the extreme bond that we had and the countless daily hours that I spent taking care of her needs that my grief hallucinations occurred.


  1. Hi Erin!
    Your post was very interesting! I also had numerous Grief Hallucinations as well. For example, my grandpa died at the age of 62 from lung cancer and I was only 7 years old. But he was such a huge impact on my life when my twin brother and I were born. He was literally like a second dad to us. He did everything for us and when he passed away I did not understand, and I was always asking my parents that I want grandpa. Since we were his first grandchildren, even better twins (Boy and Girl) I've been told that I had a special place in my grandpa's heart. And even to this day, I would sometimes see glimpses of him outside my bedroom door in the early mornings. Or I would smell cigarette smoke in our garages, where he would always smoke when he came out to visit us. When I have theses occurrences it actually comforts me because he was my everything when I was little, and it sometimes feels like these hallucinations are actually ways of telling me that he is watching out for me. Awesome Post!
    Lauren DeMott

  2. Hi Erin! The moment I read the picture you posted I immediately thought of my great-grandfather. I never met him, but I hear much about him because he was well known for his hallucinations after his wife's death. He would occasionally go into the garage and yell at cats that he said he saw. He also would complain that the fire department was outside his house again. Of course, both events never happened and I now know that it was because of his grieving that encouraged these hallucinations. Thanks for sharing!