Are people really putting a time limit on grief? Those who love and support us after the death of a loved one want us to “move on” and “get over it” ASAP. They are not insensitive; they only want us to be over the pain because they have no idea what to do to make us feel better.
The subject of how long to grieve is a frequent topic of discussion with clients, one that no one has the answer to and actually, there is no right answer. Grief is so individualized that no one can tell you how long you should be experiencing what I call “active” grieving. Grief after the death of a loved one will always be with us but when we understand the process of grief we learn to integrate the loss into our lives, it does not stand apart. If however, and only you will know, you continue to carry anger, tend to isolate or feel you have no control over life I would advise that you speak with a grief specialist and consider the possibility that you truly have not allowed yourself to grieve.
I chose to write about grief and time this week after seeing 60 minutes Anderson Cooper’s interview with Liam Neeson, not the one that aired but the one that appeared in the 60 minute overtime piece Living With Grief, A Conversation Between Men. Here is the link http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/living-with-grief-a-conversation-between-men/. I believe this is one of the most candid pieces I’m ever seen by an interviewer on a subject that has been avoided. I commend Anderson Cooper for giving Liam the space to openly speak about the tragic death of his wife Natasha five years ago and to share his own feelings of grief after the death of his father and brother.
Time is not what heals our wounds, taking action, understanding grief and openly speaking about our loved ones does.
Are you fully living your life after loss? If not, why? If not now, when?