Good Grief? When will I ‘get over’ it?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

photo (7)I am sure many of you are familiar with the idea that grief happens in stages and that a person has to get through all the stages or may never “get over” the death of a loved one. The thing is, what actually happens for people when someone dies is as unique as the griever. How to get over grieving process? It depends on many things like the relationship you had with the deceased, your own attitude about death and dying, what role that person played in your life, the expectations of others, cultural or religious practices, and how the person died, to name a few things that that have an effect on the grieving process. For example, while many people find the death of a loved one difficult, for some there may be a sense of relief that the person died perhaps due to a lengthy illness or because the relationship was toxic.

Secondly, the idea that you have to move on and get over the loss, does not work for everyone. And, in fact,  it can put an additional stress and burden on the griever, that they must somehow grieve “correctly”.

Grieving is a process, not a task that one must complete. While the feelings are less intense over time, there may be times (like the deceased’s birthday) or certain places that bring that person to mind and you may find yourself having feelings of grief again.

This brings me to the third thing that many people experience: Your relationship with the deceased still continues on. Just because you don’t see them every day does not mean they stop being part of your life. Some people find that an ongoing relationship with the deceased is comforting. Some people are more formal about the relationship and go to a grave site and have a talk with the deceased. Some people create events or ceremonies that honour the deceased either as something that happens on a specified date or as they need to. Some people just have a memory that pops into their minds.

So, grief is a experience that is unique to you. Grieve as you need to. Reach out to others as you need to. Sit alone as you need to. Do what feels right for you.

When should I worry about my grieving?

If you feel like harming yourself or someone else, if you find that over a long period of time it is difficult for you to reconnect to the world (relationships, hobbies, work), then you might find reaching out to someone you trust or seeing a helping professional may provide the support you need to help you bring balance back into your life.

Mercedes Baines is a clincical counsellor and runs Mind In Body, a private practice based in Vancouver, BC. Click Here to contact her