When we lose someone it can be a very emotional and trying time. A staple in our life vanishes and we’re left to deal with the ramifications of that. We feel waves of emotion washing over and sometimes it can feel like we’re being suffocated by those intense feelings. Those internal feelings that we experience when losing someone are called grief. Grief is a powerful emotion that can easily overwhelm us after losing someone we held dear. Unfortunately, it can often feel like our grief will never end.
How Long Will I Experience Grief For?
Unfortunately, there is no set timeframe on our grief. After experiencing a tough loss, it can take months, even years to process your feelings. The grieving process varies by person and as such, no one can put a timetable on the intense emotions you are feeling.
It’s also important to remember not to compare your grief to anyone else’s for a reference point. If your co-worker lost their spouse and seemed back to “normal” in a month, that doesn’t mean that your grief will only last a month after losing your husband or wife. Everyone experiences grief individually and trying to put a deadline on grief will only hinder the process of working towards acceptance.
Will I Ever Get Over My Loss?
Will you ever get over a loss? The answer to that is most likely, no. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot come to accept a loss. In fact, the final stage of grief is acceptance and this is what we strive to reach when working through the loss of a loved one. This is an important distinction. You will never truly be “okay” with a loss because nothing can bring that person back. You can learn to accept the loss and accept the reality of life without your loved one.
What If I Feel Stuck?
When we lose someone we love, it can be a long journey to acceptance. Grief has five different stages and we work through them over time, but sometimes we feel like we’re stuck. If the emotions become too overwhelming and you feel like you’re unable to handle the loss on your own, it’s okay to seek help. A professional bereavement counselor is a good way to open up about the loss and sort through the intense or conflicting emotions you experience after a loss. Your bereavement counselor will give you the tools necessary to process your feelings and work through towards the acceptance phase.
How Can I Speed Up the Grieving Process?
There is no deadline for grief and unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the grieving process either. It’s called the grieving process for a reason, so it’s best to let the process happen. There are no concrete ways to shorten your grieving process or timeline, but there are some ways that you can help yourself heal after a loss.
Being open and honest about your feelings is important. Express what you’re really feeling to a family member, close friend or confidant. Allowing yourself to verbally express your thoughts and feelings about the loss can be therapeutic.
Another way to help yourself through the process is to allow some time alone to process your thoughts and feelings. Slip into nature and let the noise of everyday life slip away to leave you alone with your thoughts. Sometimes people also find comfort in creating a memorial for the deceased that gives them a place to slip away and feel their lost loved one’s presence.
Although the grieving process is not a fun experience, it is essential for learning to accept a loss. There is no timetable, but if you practice self-care and are open and honest with your feelings you can work towards acceptance.