How Long is Too Long to Grieve?

Posted: January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Some of us deal with adversity better than others do. Does that mean that we should belittle ourselves or demean ourselves because we don’t handle life as well as our friends do? If you’ve just lost your child, for instance, and you found another person who lost a child under far worse conditions, does that make your loss any less painful? Do you get to a point where you wonder how long is too long to grieve? 

To be honest, I have never lost a child, thank God, but I can tell you right now, there would be no end to my grief. If, a year after I lost my child, I felt his or her loss even more than I did the year before, I would allow myself to wallow in that grief for as long as it took for me to accept the passing of my son or daughter. 

NOTHING you could say or do would help.

A very sweet and loving woman I know lost her only son many years ago. All these years later, she still grieves the death of her son. I don’t know how she does it – how she moves past the grief. I don’t know how anybody does, but a very dear friend, who lost her son only a year ago, tells me even she doesn’t know how she is dealing with the tragic loss of her son. For months she made it to work then went home to curl up in a ball on the couch. She could do nothing else. 

In empathy, I understand but in reality I have no clue how devastating the loss of a child is, because I’ve never experienced that type of loss. 

Another dear friend lost her father several years ago. One of her friends and I were very concerned about her, because her grief went on for over a year. She wouldn’t go anywhere, she wouldn’t do anything, and all she did was go to work, go home, and cry.

Does anybody know how long is too long to grieve? I would imagine that if we all had the luxury of uninterrupted time to completely wallow in our grief, we might be able to return to society after a few months, but our grief gets interrupted by our jobs and attending to family obligations. To be able to curl up into a ball and release the tears until we are spent is something many of us cannot fathom. We have jobs to attend, diapers to change, mouths to feed. 

The only thing that I’ve seen that helps people deal with grief is loving arms wrapped around friends and family members who have lost loved ones, prayers said on behalf of the ones left behind, and genuine concern for grieving individuals. Over the years I have come to believe that prayer bestows a kind of grace on the griever, and in that loving spiritual embrace, the griever finds comfort. I sincerely believe that when people pray for anyone grieving from the loss of a loved one, grace enables grievers to at least cope with their sadness.

For a more detailed answer on How Long is To Long to Grieve, please read, The Many Layers of Grief.

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