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Stop Putting a Time Limit on Your Bereavement


Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Jan 11, 2017

Stop Putting a Time Limit on Your Bereavement

Grief is intensely, deeply personal. Each individual experiences it differently. Bearing that in mind, the worst thing you can do is place an arbitrary time limit on how long you mourn the loss of someone central to your life. Furthermore, no one else has the right to tell you how long to grieve. No one has the right to tell you to “get over it.” The idea that you only have a set amount of time to feel sad is not just ludicrous but also damaging.

Grief Doesn't Follow the Rules

There are no rules about grief. Research has been done into the grieving process, of course, but even that only provides us with a rough set of guidelines and timelines that might happen—or they might not. It's one thing to estimate that someone may grieve for six months to a year, but the reality is that grief can last for much longer.

Literally Everyone Is Different

Some people experience a softening around the edges of their grief within weeks. They might feel more like themselves within a year. Others mourn deeply for months, even years. Still others don't show their sadness to the outside world, while some people exhibit their depression in other ways, such as anger or irritability. A poignant memory can catch you by surprise decades after the death of your loved one. Trying to time it is unnecessary and nearly impossible.

Burying Your Feelings Is Harmful

If you attempt to make yourself stop grieving too soon, then you're undeniably hiding your feelings. At the very least, you're ignoring them. They will come out eventually, likely in unexpected and unpleasant ways. Don't leave your sadness to fester because you think you've been sad for too long. There's no such thing as “too long” when you're mourning a loss.

Grief Is a Process

It's called the grieving process for a reason, after all. The deep pain you feel now will eventually soften into something more like nostalgia. The memories become sweeter; they don't sting as badly. However, long after your grief mellows into memory, it will still rear up and snap at you. Missing someone never stops.

Take the time you need to grieve. Don't let anyone make you feel as if you're wallowing in self-pity. Don't go through the process like you're racing the clock. Let yourself feel your feelings for as long as you need to feel them.