How Long does Grief last? You can get over it, I did.

Grief and overcoming the despair

How long does Grief last you are asking yourself?

The intense pain and the feeling that you will always feel this way.  This is how I felt when I lost my Dad and my Grandmother.  I lost my Dad in the February of 1997 and then Princess Diana August 1997 a terrible year for me.  I never thought I was going to get over my Dad – ever….How could I live without him in my life?Overcoming frief

Losing someone you love to a death can be unbearable, the sadness, the feeling that your heart is going to break, the crying you think will never stop and above all you feel nobody understands what you are going through.

Grief some say is a process you have to go through and suggest these are the steps

  • Denial and Isolation,
  • Anger, bargaining,
  • Depression,
  • Acceptance

I am not sure if is always this way or even in that order. My opinion is that everyone goes through losing a loved one in their own way depending on the relationship they have with the person and also their emotional state at the time.
We acquire life experience through experiencing life and not everyone has the same life experience even if you are part of the same family your experience is different, consequently, your reaction to losing a loved one and your coping with that loss will be as an individual to you as your own life experience is.

So how long does Grief last?

My own experience and that of some of my clients did not always experience all of the 5 stages and not in any order, and the length of time getting over differs for each person.
The first death I experienced was my beloved Grand Mother, she was my mentor, teacher, guide, and a real mother to me. I explain more about her and my dad in my book She was 94 when she passed after a very short illness. She was born in 1900 and I loved hearing all her stories of how technology and the world had evolved from the Victorian times.OVercoming grief
I was devastated, I can’t say I was in denial but I did feel isolated, I felt nobody else understood or could feel what I was feeling. I was confused at some of the family not feeling as bad as me.

This is an Extract from Tap Your Grief Away which I wrote to help me heal myself and help others to know how to help themselves.  I explain more about how I coped and got over my overwhelming grief.  You never get over the loss!

What helps Grief?

Rescue Remedy is a great remedy to carry with you all the time.  It helps take the edge off.

Talking to someone you trust.

Giving yourself time, after awhile you can put a time limit, tell yourself you are going to grieve for a certain time then tell yourself your time is up and move on.

Emotional Freedom Techniques  (explained in detail in the book)

Having a plan and implementing it will help.

Grief takes shape in many ways, losing your pet, relationship, empty nesting, retiring even getting married.  Sometimes I grieve for the childhood I never had. Grief is not just the result of a death.  With everything going on in the world right now people are grieving for others almost constantly.

Right now a lot of parents are grieving because their kids are off to college and some of the kids are grieving because they left the comforts of home

I know it is unbearable at times and when people say “It will get better” believe me it does get better, take your time and go through what you have to and allow it to happen, don’t try to ignore it or push it deep down, this has a lot more emotional stress on your mind and body for a longer period of time.



My Dad and My Grandmother
Grief and overcoming the despair

 

 

 


Let me know how you are coping with your grief and anything that helped you.

 

 

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24 Comments

  1. Suzanne

    Thanks for writing this post. Grief can be a very difficult thing to deal with on a daily basis. One thing that has helped me are my dogs. The provide unconditional love and their presence means I have no choice but to get out and walk everyday at some point.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Pets are a great help sometimes during the grief process. I am glad they are helping you. Grief is a personal thing and everyone copes their own way. Thanks for your comments

      Reply
  2. Carmen

    Helen, as someone who lost several loved ones in the past 10 years, I totally agree that each of us copes with that loss differently. I lost two family members to murders and then my beloved mother in December of 2005 after battling cancer. To this day I still have moments of grieving as I miss the woman I came to become best friends with. I allow myself to feel the emotions and cry as I need to then I look at happy pictures of her and imagine her in a better place free of cancer. That gets me past the deep pain within me. The mind tries to think of all the “what ifs” to cause you to feel the loss more intensely, however, I make a personal choice to say, life happens and we do not determine after the fact to relive it, therefore, focus on the good that happened. I too use Rescue Remedy and it has helped me during high anxiety moments whether due to hormonal reasons or emotional reasons. I even use it to help me sleep. You inspired me to write a book about the life of mom as she had a difficult life but she smiled until the last moment. Thank you for such a wonderful article. You reminded me of my dear grandmothers who are both gone but very close to my heart. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Carmen, I am glad you have found a way to help with your loss’s. Writing a book is very cleansing I know when I wrote mine it helped with quite a lot of things in my life. Rescue Remedy is in my first aid box and I use it for lots of things. Good luck with writing your book.

      Reply
  3. Abdullah

    It was an Interesting piece of writing. Personally, I feel that you can never get over grief Permanently, yes you get over, but the sudden remembrance of those lost loved ones take you back to the depression 🙁

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      True you never get over it but the goal is to be able to function without going back into the depression and to remember them with love and peace. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
  4. Julie

    I lost my mom a few years ago this past April. One of the most profound things I ever heard was that grief will come in waves for the rest of your life. I’ve found that to be very true. I can’t imagine ever “getting over it” but I do know that the waves come and go, some large and painful, some small and only sting a little. Or maybe it’s just a whooshing emptiness I feel for a moment after experiencing something that reminds me of her.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Yes you are right you never truly get over it. My Dad died 18 years ago and sometimes it still feels like yesterday and other times it has a calming feeling. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  5. Kenny Lee

    You are right when you said grief isn’t just about death. It comes from the experience of losing. Whether the losing actually takes place is secondary.

    When my kid was two, he basically collapsed in my arm suffering from febrile fit. Back then, I didn’t know what it was. I only know that I’m losing my child in that instance. It was the most horrible moment in my life.

    Although I knew that it was not life-threatening later, the experience is already deeply etched in my emotional memory.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      I know exactly how you feel, my granddaughter had one at 9 months and we did not know what it was at the time. My second granddaughter had one at 2 years. We now know when they ever get a temperature to take watch them like a hawk because my second granddaughter had another one when she was 7. Very scary.

      Reply
  6. Loretta Harrison

    Griefing is different for everyone. When I lost my brother at age 25 I didn’t cry but I had a headache from the time he died until the time he was buried. It would not go away. Plus I was pregnant at the time. There is a saying …”Life goes out, Life comes in”.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Yes emotions can manifest into physical symptoms. Great saying -thanks for your comments.

      Reply
  7. Deanna

    Love this! I’ll be passing it along to some friends 🙂

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Thank you, so glad you liked it and thank you for sharing.

      Reply
  8. Sam

    Great post. Last year I lost both of my Grandparents within a month of each other. One was from an aortic aneurysm and the other followed her husband a month later with a brain tumor. It was hard since I was at school and didn’t have money to fly back to see the funerals. It’s almost more difficult to comprehend when you’re not there to see them. It’s like to me they’re still over at there house where they always were. Death’s definitely a hard thing.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Yes that is hard, and until you visit again you may not get closure until then. I wish you all the best in the meantime, it takes time. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  9. Kevin Bulmer

    Hi Helen,
    Nice work on a very helpful article on an important part of life we all will experience. I’ve allowed myself to recognize and honour whatever it is that I’m feeling – grief, pain, sadness, happiness, etc – as it’s all part of the journey. It is remarkable what we are able to absorb and keep moving, as you described with the grief of losing your father. You’re equipping people with very helpful information and I’m thinking a lot of people will find this article when they are searching for help online at a difficult time. I wish them – and you – peace of mind and heart. Good for you for providing this wonderful resource.
    All best wishes,
    Kevin

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Hi Kevin,
      Thank you so much for your comments. I realized what a big topic is was when my clients would come see me. There was always some sort of grief to deal with, when I went through mine it gave me a much better understanding of what it feels like.

      Reply
  10. Wendy

    I think we are all different as far as how long grief lasts. The most important thing is to let yourself go through the stages and understand that it is okay to feel sad or angry. It does pass. And there is always a brighter future.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Absolutely right it is okay to feel the emotions – thank you for your comments and words.

      Reply
  11. Grace

    Dear Helen,

    Thank you for this much needed post. Growing up, I have come to realize that humans are very mortal beings and that we are so fragile. The feeling of losing a loved one is so raw and heart breaking that you don’t know what to do with yourself. I’m sorry for the losses you have experienced, Helen. Thank you for the helpful suggestions and I hope you live life to the fullest. Blessings~

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Thank you Grace, glad you like it

      Reply
  12. Anthony

    Hi, Helen! Thank you for your sharing!
    It is very sad to lose our loved ones. My grandmother passed away last year and I still remember how sad my mother was at that time. That intense grief would last for a very long time if she didn’t ask for help. She relied on gardening at that time to distract from grief and she’s fine now. Rescue Remedy was also important at that time.
    So, I think your post is very useful. Because it is not easy to overcome grief.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Gardening is a great way to lose yourself and I love that she used Rescue Remedy, always my go to first

      Reply

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