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Getting Away after a Loss: Against


Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Feb 08, 2017

Getting Away after a Loss: Against

The subject of getting away from the source of the pain following the death of someone you love is a divisive one. Is it better or worse for you to go on vacation or take some time away? Ultimately, it comes down to you, the bereaved. You know what you need. All the clinical studies and data in the world mean nothing if you can't get past your grief. In order to heal, maybe you need to go. Then again, perhaps it's best if you stay right where you are. It all comes down to considering the pros and cons, which are presented below.

Your Grief Goes with You

No matter where you go, your grief goes with you. It tags along every step of the way. You cannot outrun your memories, nor can you hide from them. It doesn't matter if you're on a beach in Hawaii, a mountain in the Alps, or a bus in Chicago, the person you loved is still dead, and you still remember them. Escaping to another time zone or a different country doesn't erase that death. It doesn't send you back in time.

Leaving Can Make You Miss a Step

That is, leaving your home or hometown during your bereavement can cause you to miss a step in the grieving process. It can be harder to come to terms with a loss when you aren't there. At home, the reality of your loved one's death confronts you every day. That hurts deeply, but it's an essential part of the grieving process because it prepares you to get on with your life. Memories pop up everywhere, at any time. Confronting that idea desensitizes you to otherwise painful memories, making them easier to cope with and simpler to handle.

The Sadness Is Still There When You Get Back

Upon returning home, everything you fled from is still there. Depending on how well you dealt with your grief while you were away, you're possibly in for quite the shock the second you get back. Again, you can't outrun your memories or your feelings. It's possible that your grief will simply suspend itself when you leave, only to return full throttle when you return.

No one else can decide which choice is right for you. It's possible that the pain is too much for you to take, in which case it's better for your mental health to get away. However, it's also possible that you're better off facing your feelings face-on right away and getting through the worst of it.