grief hallucination

A grief hallucination is a hallucination experienced by someone grieving the loss of someone they were close to. These hallucinations can be auditory or visual, but they can also be something as simple as sensing the physical presence of your loved one near you when they’re not actually there (a sensation difficult to ascribe to any of the five traditional senses). Generally the people who experience them describe the experience as comforting. Grief hallucinations are actually very common, with an estimated 60% of bereaved spouses reporting that they’ve experienced at least one. They’re not usually considered a serious problem (unless the hallucinations are causing distress for the person experiencing them, or they get severe enough that the person becomes delusional – but this is pretty rare). Rather, it is thought that the brain produces these sensations as a way of coping with the emotional pain of grief.