How Did GRIEF Get an Expiration Date?

Certain things need an expiration date. Milk, eggs, mayonnaise, meat, fish… there is a time we need to be done with them, and throw them away… I get all that. But does grief have an expiration date? For some reason, there seems to be an acceptable shelf life—6-12 months—and then grief should be off the shelf, out of the home and permanently removed with the weekly trash service.  If it was only that simple…

The “grief expiration date” myth must come from people who have never experienced a close death – otherwise they would know the truth. Everyone fears facing such a loss. They are hopeful that should death touch their world, it will only take 6-12 months to recover. No one wants someone they love to die. So, until faced with the reality, it’s easier to think ‘this won’t happen to me, AND if it does it will only be bad for a finite, short amount of time and then…there’s an expiration date and it is magically all gone.’ What a wonderful world that would be.

I’ve heard time and time again there is a societal expectation to “get over” grief in 6 months, and at the longest, a year. Those who aren’t grieving believe it, and often those who are also believe it – this sets grieving people up for false, and ultimately disappointing, expectations.

The one year mark looms like some golden carrot over the heads of those who are grieving. It is a symbol of hope that if they make it to the one year mark they will be in a much happier and pain free place.

The reality is they won’t be over it, nor should they be. If someone spent years loving another person, the pain of that person’s death simply will not be removed due to a date on the calendar.

The opposite actually might happen – people who are grieving may feel even more pain in year two because the initial numbness, which often serves as a protective barrier at the onset of loss, has worn off and they begin experiencing the full intensity of their feelings and grief. This is accompanied by the realization that life with loss  is their “new normal.”

I lost my mother at 9 and father at 12. I remember feeling the expectation of a grief expiration date myself. I remember being 15, five years after my mother died and three years after my father died. If I had a tough day missing my parents, people looked shocked, or avoided the subject, or avoided me. Sometimes I would hear insensitive comments, like “aren’t you over that?” Or when someone experienced a more recent loss, I would get “Oh, poor [so and so]. What a tragic loss.  Aren’t you glad you are over that now?”

I remember beating myself up and doubting how well I was coping. If you allow yourself to believe there is an expiration date for grief, you will start to think you aren’t doing well if you still miss your loved one 5, 10, 20, 40 years after the loss. In reality – it’s normal. And it’s okay.

This is what I know to be true:

Grief IS a life-long journey. An emotional handicap you get up, and live with everyday. It doesn’t mean you can’t lead a happy life, but it is a choice, and takes work.

The frequency and intensity of those grief pangs/knives should lessen over time, but the reality is every now and then for the rest of your life, you will feel those pangs. Everyone grieves at their own pace, and in their own way. There is no one way to grieve, and no certain order, and no timeline. There is definitely not an expiration date.

Grief will take on different forms in different people. Not everyone cries; others cry all the time. Some exercise a lot. Others talk about it a lot. Many seek counseling or join a support group, and enjoy the company of a good and understanding listener.

If years after your loss, thinking of your loved one missing a special day or milestone in your life, makes you sad, puts you in a funk, or makes you cry, don’t beat yourself up. Allow yourself the ability to grieve the loss of memories not created. As long as the frequency and intensity of grief eases—even if it is slowly over time—you are coping in positive ways. Alternatively, if years after the loss, you can’t bear the mention of your loved ones name, you sleep all day, you aren’t participating in your normal everyday activities, you do things to “numb” or escape your grief, those are warning signs that you are not coping well, and should seek the assistance you need to begin healing.

Grieving in a healthy manner, taking steps to move forward, and rebuild your life with a new normal, doesn’t mean you won’t have those tough days or tough moments.

There is no expiration date. Grief never fully goes away. That doesn’t have to mean you can’t and won’t live a happy and productive life. What it does mean is the love you shared with loved ones lost, doesn’t have an expiration date either.

Photo Credit.

37 Comments:

  1. Carmel said on May 31, 2014 at 9:35 am ... #

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google
    account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

  2. Cynthia said on June 3, 2014 at 1:55 am ... #

    What a great thread to come upon in my days of unbelievable grief. To read of others’ grief experiences is helpful, even though so painful and sad to imagine. I lost my beloved Mother less than two weeks ago. She lived with me, and I took great care of her, as she did of me all the years of my life. I married, had a family, and did all of the normal things one does, but, as Check Quek said, my Mother was always unconditionally there for me. The best Mom in the world. So when she needed me, I was there for her. Her death was unexpected. It wasn’t peaceful. It left me with feelings of things left unsaid, not the proper comfort measures in place, and so forth. I feel like I did everything right for her, loving and caring in her years of decline, but then when I really needed to step up to the plate and save her from a painful death….it happened too quickly and I was broadsided. She had some hours of what seemed like panic and torture. Then peaceful sleep before death. But all I can remember are the bad four hours of panic and fear and pain. I couldn’t think straight. I failed. She is gone now, and I miss her more than words could ever relate. I cry every day. I want her back to give her a hug and tell her all will be alright. She will never be back with me, and I’m sad, sad, sad, and I know it will not go away anytime soon. Like others have said, we put on a fake happy façade for others, because they seem to expect it. Grief is an inconvenience. It makes people feel uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say, or how to act, so mostly they ignore it. It helps to find a conversation like this, that lets us know there’s an army of us. An army of people who grieve with big snags and gaping holes in our hearts, and no one has a clue.

  3. Angela said on June 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm ... #

    Hi, the comments on here have brought me to tears. Doug said something very touching about his Dad which I totally relate to – how he would hope that he went before his Dad and that he will spend the rest of his days with a broken heart. This is exactly how I feel about losing my dear dear mum at 63 to cancer 22 September 2013. I am still angry with mum’s local doctor and hospital because in my opinion they missed her illness and kept giving her stomach pills and fobbing her off (still don’t know if she had primary stomach or pancreatic cancer), they killed her. If only I had gotten her private care she might still be here today. The pain after losing my mum is torture, it is so bad, I feel so alone. I don’t have a dad and am an only child so at 46 years old, I feel like an orphan (don’t have any family of my own). 3 weeks after my mum’s funeral I did my ankle in and had to have surgery so couldn’t walk for 6 weeks, at which point my friends helped me but now they stay away from the depressed woman who has no zest for life anymore. My husband and I broke up when I did my ankle in because it was too much for him waiting on me for a change and walking our dogs too. His attitude was that I wasn’t the only person grieving and life goes on so I should try and make an effort. I miss my beautiful mum so much, I still have days where I have to tell myself that she isn’t here. My mum was always there for me and I feel so guilty for being a horrible child. When I see children playing up their mums I really want to chastise them and I also feel jealous of other mums with their daughters. I only remember the bad stuff like – my mum’s reaction when the hospital nurse told her they couldn’t treat her so they were sending her home (she passed away at home one month later), I remember how uncomfortable she was in the last few weeks. I remember her last death rattle breath. I remember her face at the funeral directors. I want to see my beautiful mum’s smiley face again in the flesh, not in memory. This is a living hell isn’t it? I only recall bad memories, always have ever since childhood so I can’t blame the vodka. When you lose someone so important to you, it leaves you with such a terrible pain in your heart and such a massive ache to be with them again. being only 18 years younger than my mum I too (being a smoker and drinker) thought I would go before my healthy mum – so wish I wasn’t here anymore.

  4. Ashley said on June 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm ... #

    I just want to thank you for wroting this. It is, sadly, a concept not widely discussed, nor understood… and thus effects both those who are grieving a loss, as well as those in their support system. Awareness of the concept of “a new normal” and learning that the process of finding your new way in life gives those who grieve permission to be patient with themselves as they experience the good and bad of this journey. Thank you for sharing!

  5. JB said on June 10, 2014 at 12:25 am ... #

    In reading comments from others who are grieving the loss of loved ones has been helpful in knowing I am not the only one who feels lost and floundering in the sadness of grief. My husband and I lost our only child, our young adult son two years ago to a sudden cardiac arrest. The grief has been disabling. I have had friends resent that I am not the “upbeat, energetic person” I was prior to our son’s death and not meet their expectations in our friendship!! I found they weren’t friends, and felt like I was being “kicked while I was down”. Unbelievable. It gets exhausting putting on the happy face. Sleep is not an escape as my dreams have been ones of looking for our son, or him being in danger and trying to save him and then the heart wrenching ones of finding him and feeling this sense of relief and happiness only to wake up and find it is a dream and facing the reality he is gone. I have lost 90+ year old parents and while there is sadness, they lived long lives and you always expect the day to come when you will lose your parents at that age. To lose a child is a terrible kind of pain and one that is a daily struggle. I always tell myself there are people out there in life who deal with much greater problems and pain, and that is very true and is incentive to dig deep for strength, but it doesn’t take the pain away. My thoughts of empathy and prayers are with all who have posted comments on this site.

  6. Dave said on June 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm ... #

    I lost mom in 2001, a true friend in 2002, the other “dad” who raised me in 2005 and another true friend in 2008. Cancer is very impersonal and, strangely, knwoing there was time before death gave me the subconscious ability to buffer myself before their departures. Thats not a good thing. My own sadness has come home to roost over the years and there’s a deep empty hole. I recently lost a friend to suicide and while my anger has faded now the is only sadness. My great respect and sympathy goes to all these here who’ve lost, come face to face with the pain and continue to grieve. I believe my grief may have gotten the better of me now for I chose to push it away. I don’t know what’s worse, pain that reminds you you’re alive or deadness in the spirit. I would never judge. My condolences to all we’ve lost.

  7. Ricky said on June 10, 2014 at 4:05 pm ... #

    Tears in my eyes and to came to know that we all have to grieve at one stage or the other. I lost my father (56) on 15 June 2013, a day before father’s day. He was diagnosed with stage 4 or whatever level of colon cancer a few months before. To have seen him dying in front of me, helpless, noticing the big stomach which started to grow ever since he was told that it has spread to his liver, with hopes that we will make it, it will stop growing, I will take my father back home, he will see his grand children growing. He was my friend, our friend, we had fun together, he was the one that I wanted to make proud. My own family and I stayed about 400 km away from my mom and dad, we didn’t chat daily, but when ever we were together it was like this tremendous feeling of happiness, as if no one can come in between us. Death, however did. After crying almost every week, as man, husband to my wife, and father to my children, being the eldest, I had to accept that I am weak and had to let myself go. I couldn’t talk to my mom, I tried to talk to my one brother, however, I have to accept that they all are grieving as well. My mother used to say when I was trying to talk, that why must I make her think. My uncle (father’s brother) just said that I should go and cry it all out. He and his family ignored me ever since. Going to church and listening to the word of God was my only healing. A place where I could spiritually feel that someone else do know how I feel. I could find piece, though it didn’t stopped the occasional crying and thoughts of how I ended up helpless next to my father who was still young at that time.

    Guess what? On 14 April 2014, my mother (55) died by a heart attack.

    I don’t know what to feel anymore? In a few days it will be a year after my father’s dead. I know I will go to church as it is Sunday and it is Father’s day.

    My whole life has come to complete stand still, my research studies has stopped and I will not make it for my Master’s this year, at work there are no growth and I will stay in the same old job, at home, I am still the same guy, parent, husband, father, nothing new.

    I just wish I could get something to look forward to wholeheartedly with laughter and excitement. My kids, wife and brothers and their wifes, and one cousin is my reason of existence. I love them all.

    My heart goes out to all of you whether you grief or not, and I just hope that we will all get blessed at one point.

  8. Julie Bradbury Turner said on June 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm ... #

    I lost my beautiful 30 year old son to sudden death in epilepsy on April 9 th this year. And to be quite honest I find it so hard to cope .he had been to my sisters for evening meal and was making plans for his birthday in May . He was very happy that night. But by the morning was found dead in bed.Why why why I loved him so very much, my heart is totally broken, how do people learn to cope ? I have a really good family and some very loyal friends but they don’t know how I feel and nor would I want them too.he loved football and today the World Cup is on the tv it’s cracking me up knowing he’s not here to see it. Will I ever be able to move on .

  9. Elizabeth Hart said on June 18, 2014 at 1:24 am ... #

    I like many others found this article by accident. You have given me comfort in the fact that grief does not have a use by date. We lost our beloved 6 year old grandson and his father. They were swept of rocks into the water. The father’s body has never been found. That will be 1 year ago on the 22nd of this month. The pain has not abated for me. At times it feels worse. I do feel that others think I should not even talk about it. So cruel, I need to talk about it sometimes. A lovely lady told me once not long after the tragedy happened in quite a strong tone “all children go straight to heaven”. This has been the one comforting thing to me since my beautiful grandson and his dad died. I will certainly never get over what happened. Time will not heal my heart. There is definitely not a use by date in my heart. Once again thanks for the article. I now feel I am not alone.

  10. David Carter said on June 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm ... #

    My wife died on 2/24/2014 from a single car accident while parking her car at the University of Tennessee Law School where she worked. We met in 1977 and fell in love. The Lord directed us together because of our life circumstances. She was my best friend ever. When she died, my spirit was ripped in two. It has been four months and I have no interest or incentives to do anything. In my head, I know she is OK and safe; however, my heart aches for her and her companionship. We had no children and I have no immediate family of my own. Reminders of her are all through the house which she decorated. Some people have exclaimed how difficult it would be for them. I have experienced tremendous waves of grief of which I have to allow to run their course. People have been supportive but they have to live their lives. It is as if my time had stopped on 2/24/14. Sally was/is the love of my life. Our retirement plans and future died with her. I know one day we will be reunited. My sadness is that, until that time, I will always have this heartache. I read, “To love deeply is to grieve deeply”. Based on these experiences on this posting, it is so true. Thank you for this posting and allowing us to tell our story. There is healing here!! David

  11. Kash Deo said on July 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm ... #

    I lost my husband to cancer this year 21st march, we only found out he had cancer in November 2013, we were both very happy expecting our second child, this was the worst news ever. My husband had to have his eye removed due to cancer five days after I had my our baby girl by c-section.
    A few weeks after his op he got very ill, we found out in the 8th march that the cancer had spread, he had liver cancer stage 4, it was so aggressive the consultant said there was nothing they could do for him that he was going to die no matter what they gave him, 12 days after knowing about the liver cancer my husband passed away. He had lost five stones in weight, it was so hard watching him suffer and not been able to help him, I tried to hold on to any little hope, I couldn’t accept that he was dying, he had a lot to live for, his son of 5 years and his little baby girl who was only 9 weeks old, I stayed with my husband till the very end, I will never ever get that time out of my head.
    At the same time this was all happening my dad was also in hospital fighting cancer, he only found out a year ago that he had cancer, my dad lost his battle with cancer 12 days after my husband passed away, it was so hard for me with new baby, losing my husband and then my dad, my dad and my husband were the two most important men in my life, and I lost them both within days apart. I have found if hard because I am still grieving my husband, I was so numb when my dad died, I don’t know what to do, please someone help me. I scream and shout when I’m on my own for help, I’m so scared because I feel down all the time. I just want to talk to people who are going through it like me and who understand me.
    One of my best friends stopped taking to me too, this is when I needed her most, I have always been there for her, and her problems are nothing looking back now, I have some good friends and family around me supporting me, but I don’t think they really understand what I am feeling inside, if I didn’t have my children I would kill myself, but I will never do that to them because It is so wrong and unfair for them, I am going to have to live this life of pain. I always talk about my husband to his children, and am going to make sure that his memory lives on, my little boy and me also raised £1320 in his name for liver cancer research.
    When all this happened I focused on my son to make sure he was getting all the support from me and his school, my husband and I always said children first then us, now I really need help too. Time is not a healer, it’s getting worse for me everyday, I just need to talk to someone who is going through what I’m going through.
    Everyone says that I am going to have to learn to live with this, but how can I when I will never accept what happen to my husband who was only 38 years old, I can accept my dad passing always because he had a good long life, but I can’t with my husband ever.
    I am so broken my heart aches every second of the day, I have never felt pain like this before.

  12. Connie said on July 23, 2014 at 2:54 am ... #

    I came across this page when I was searching how long should you grieve for your spouse. I lost my husband 2 1/2 years ago. We were married 26 years and have 2 wonderful children together. He had a heart attack. He was 58. I gave him CPR until help arrived. It was not successful. I feel like I am no further along than the day it happened. This article gives me hope. I hate to admit it but was relieved to know there are others feeling the same way. May we all heal in time and be able to move forward. I love ya buddy and I miss you every single day!

  13. Gia said on August 2, 2014 at 1:21 am ... #

    To Kash Deo, my heart goes out to you . God blees you and your family.
    I lost my husband July 14. ,2013 worst day of my life.
    Please stay as strong as possible . I wish I could give you a hug.
    May good things happen to you in the future.
    I know how you feel.
    Hugs.

  14. Christy said on August 14, 2014 at 9:20 pm ... #

    I came in search of why I’m still as upset about my boyfriend, 12 years later… we were babies ourselves, had one child, a son. Our son was 8 when his father died and I was devastated. He was 26 years old. Not only did I grieve for myself but had to help our son through the grief. I an no more over it today than I was back then… however my son has adjusted pretty well (he was 8 when it happened, now he’s 20) He’ll maybe get upset once a year or family functions when his dads name comes up. What is my problem? 12 years is a long time. I’m hurt, mostly I’m MAD although I’m not sure at who, I even mourn for the things he didn’t get to see our son do… ride motocross, graduate highschool, whatever.
    Since you read this far I”ll tell you that he was beat up, left on train tracks and a train hit him… he died 3 times before going to ICU, and get up to critical condition. lost both legs, half an arm, too much blood. Never opened eyes again, at least not to look at you… he did open them a couple times like he was realizing what was happening and he was freaking out. This wild look in his eye. I would have to tell him it[s ok. Even then I think he was brain damaged. Lasted a week in the hospital, were told he’d live/then told he wouldn’t/then told he would…. the whole week really messed with my head. What do I do.

  15. Joyce said on August 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm ... #

    I lost my 23-year-old daughter on July 23, 2013. I found her dead in her room. I still cry every night. Her room still remains like it was. The only reason that I haven’t kill myself is because I have a 21-year-old son. But sometimes I believe it will be the only way I can get rid of my pain I feel everyday.

  16. oya said on September 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm ... #

    My love , my husband, died on the 1st of April 2014 . I have loved him for 25 years and will love him for ever….It has been 6 months and life goes on people think so… I work, go out, exercise keep, my house clean and at every chance tears roll down my eyes at their own will…. no this pain will never go away ..He had cancer for 2.5 years and I tried to be with him at all my free time during that period .Thank god we had lots of chances to enjoy our time together even after we found out his illness.
    I watched a wonderful big handsome guy get weak and old ,very old in very short time the last 6 months before he died.We talked about everything God,love,death,stars,universes,parallel universes,eternal life,reincarnations…We cried together and felt hope and hopeless..And I lost him .He was always funny and brave and cool..
    I love him.I need him so much and feel so lonely..
    I have a daughter and friends but he was my my love only love..
    I get by and do the itty bitty details in life.
    Sometimes I will force myself sometimes its easier..
    Sorrow now is a constant occupant in my body and soul …Bye bye love hello loneliness..

  17. Sharon said on October 2, 2014 at 8:59 am ... #

    I lost my beautiful mam in November 2013. She and I had an extremely rare bond. She was my best friend, my soulmate and the love of my life. I took care of her right until the very end. People make me so angry with “you just have to move on”, i wish it was that easy. “She’s in a better place”, no she bloody isn’t, she’s not with me so how could it be better?? “she’s not in any pain”, really? broken heart and separation anxiety.”You got to say goodbye to her”, no! Yes I had to tell her to let go as her poor body was tired even though it broke my heart. Her last word was “sharon”. I told her we’d never be apart.My dad (has parkinsons) and my brother have no idea how lost, lonely and utterly devastated I am. I’m not married and have no partner or children so I’m really alone. I think my friends are getting fed up with me whittering on about my grief. They have their own problems to deal with so I don’t like burdening them. But I am so lost, my heart keeps breaking over and over every day.
    Check, yes I believe they give us signs, I saw a butterfly in November, I love butterflies and no one else saw it. I believe she walks beside me and gives me strength to put one foot in front of the other. The only thing that keeps me sane is that I will see her again. Hugs to everyone x

  18. Marlen said on October 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm ... #

    I lost my Dad on April 24th, two days after his 77 birthday, Everyone kind of expects that I should get over it by now… Almost six months and all, you know? He was my Dad for thirty years! That will never go away… The pain of losing him is the most horrible feeling of my life. I’ve lost the one person who had the most unconditional love for me. No one will ever replace that feeling. No one. And people avoiding talking about the subject or my grieve is awful… They pretend it doesn’t exist… C’mon… He was my father.

  19. Gia said on October 26, 2014 at 12:17 am ... #

    God bless us all , this pain is horrific.
    I will never stop loving my husband.

  20. Star said on November 4, 2014 at 6:40 am ... #

    I knew this pain would never go away. I have struggled over the last year since my long term boyfriend of 4 years passed but I have just about coped for the sake of our daughter.
    In October 2013 my boyfriend was murdered. We wer going through a difficult stage in our relationship weeks previous and had parted. I never wanted this to happen. We may not have been a couple anymore but we wer still seeing each other. I loved him with everything I had. I still do.
    On the night he was killed he was at a party. And I was at home with our 1 year old daughter. My life was torn apart that night. I would wake everyday after his death and look at my daughter who is the spitting image of her father and know this little girl needs her mummy to be strong. I did what I had to do.
    All year I awaited his anniversary thinking after it would get easier. Life seemed to have other plans in mind. In September we wer told that the trail was scheduled to start the day after his anniversary.
    The trial is ongoing at the moment. I am not allowed to attend court as yet due to me being down as a witness.
    At the moment I seem to be more emotional than ever.
    My 2year old daughter has suddenly started asking about daddy too.
    I just don’t know how I’m supposed to cope with all this going on. Then in 3 weeks it’s his birthday and round the corner there is Christmas too.
    My heart fills of love and I still get yhose little butterfly’s when I think of my partner. But this is all too much.

  21. June said on November 5, 2014 at 9:08 am ... #

    I lost my wonderful husband Gary 2 years ago, it was completely unexpected and he was only 50. The kindest, funniest, most charming man I ever knew, I adored him. I could tell him anything. But I didn’t get to say goodbye.

    I haven’t had a happy moment since. All of our parents are still alive, so I feel obliged to stay and help them through, but some days the struggle just seems too much to face.

    God help us all.

  22. Pearl said on November 12, 2014 at 5:29 am ... #

    I lost my dad on August the 6th this year and my mam just over three years ago, I was alone with both my parents when they died and said my good byes and told them they were loved very much . I was so devistated when mam died I disapeard in to my own world of sadness and was so lonly I could not see the point in anything . I started to feel better on mams anivsary this year in Feb. And since mam died I was the only one who visted dad every week he had allways been a difficult man and I was never his special daughter . But over the three years i grew to know a caring loving dad who I had not seen in my younger days as I was young and firey . I miss him everyday and lately 3 monthes since he passed the teers keep falling and I am filled with sadness and miss seeing him and talking to him so much . and I cant talk to the sissters and brother as they felt very diffrent to him there is no one to sher his memories with no one to talk to about him no one cares about him passing he died off a broken heart I feell he asked after my bother every week for three years, and I feell so sad that he did not get to see him and that perhaps I was never enough . enyway I am having alot of bad days lately and dont know who to tell as they all think I am over it now I am not and dont wont to slip back in to that place I was in when my mam passed away .Its hard as I feel like I am crying none stop for both parents and I hide it from everyone and when I feel tearfull I make a excuse and leave the room I am sure I will be fine greif is never ending and you miss a lost loved one for eternaty .

  23. Linda said on November 27, 2014 at 11:14 pm ... #

    I am pretty much dreading the Holidays. Today was Thanksgiving. My 94-yr. old father was with my husband and I. We have no children. Just the 3 of us, elderly and lonely. Six months ago my very best, most loving friend died from cancer, which took her after diagnosis in only a shocking 2 months. She was like a mother, nurturing, complimentary, giving and fun. I am now afraid of Christmas time, as she and I always celebrated together during a Christian Women’s Dinner. I have finally been able, after 6 months time, to once again open the daily verse study book and the Bible again, which she and I discussed daily by email. But this is where I want to support other grieving people. I have found a terrific psychiatrist and counselor within my medical system. I have had my medicine increased, and it has at times been uncomfortable, but I am trusting in the medical staff. I have had help in learning to do a breathing exercise. But the pain in my throat, that knot, is miserable still. My nurse told me I have gone through so very much stress in my life before my friend passed away, and she shows such interest and compassion. I just wish friends would have reached out to me these past 6 months. I currently have one neighbor, who understands my pain, and we email each other almost every day. Success in feeling better does feel remote, but I needed a place like this site to see others have gone through worse losses and that we actually can feel a bit better by writing about our grief somewhere safe. Thank you all for being brave to share your stories. I pray to God we will know relief. I am sending this virtual hug and love to you all.

  24. Sharon said on December 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm ... #

    I lost my 25-year old son in a tragic accident 13 months ago. He was so full of life. He was so proud to have finished college and spent every extra minute rock climbing & mountaineering. We were very close. Two months later, my best friend of 35 years died. Feelings of isolation are really tough at times and most people, with the exception of close family, truly don’t understand. I actually have close friends who began to avoid me after Scott’s death rather than check in to see how I was doing. A coworker asked me how my husband was doing. When I said that he is still really sad. She replied, “Still? It’s been 4 months.” It is comforting to know that I’m not alone in my grief. Thank you to everyone for your posts.

  25. Carol said on December 7, 2014 at 7:59 am ... #

    Glad I stumbled across ‘hello grief’ Reading all other people’s experiences of dealing with loss and grief has also helped me to feel as if I’m not abnormal! Whatever we have or are going through there is always somebody who has or is having to deal with even more.

    God bless you all xx

  26. Sister said on December 18, 2014 at 6:38 am ... #

    My sister died last month. She was cremated and a memorial service was held, but we just buried her ashes yesterday afternoon. She was my only sister and this grief is very hard. The week after she died, I found that our younger brother has cancer. Two weeks later my husband had a heart attack, but survived and seems to be doing well now.
    When I think of her I remember back through over sixty years of memories. She was my only sister, the one person who could glance my way and we knew what the other was thinking. We fought and we were the best of friends, we sang together so many songs. We went through mud pie making, dating, having children, having grandchildren, loss of father. I miss her.
    In our culture and most religious teachings we have been taught that it is somehow wrong to miss the body of a person, that they are in spirit, in a better place.
    But those eyes I mentioned are gone, that voice that sang with mine is gone, the hand that held mine is gone, the arm that went round my shoulder is gone. Why
    should I not grieve that?
    It is a miracle, you see: it is that earthly miracle, that flesh that held the spirit which allowed us to touch, see, be, live together here on this earth. That flesh-spirit miracle that gave birth to my nieces and nephews, that smiled with joy when I gave birth to mine. I am grateful for the miracle. I miss the smile the laugh the look the touch. She is in a better place. But my current place is a worse place for the loss of her.
    People don’t understand at all. They don’t want to. To be understanding is to admit to themselves that death is a fact and that they too will face grief and death. To be with us that grieve is frightening and distressing: they know only their need to run from death, from grief, for as long as they can.
    After my dad died, I soon discovered that to get along with the rest of the world I had to learn to grieve silently, to let them maintain their illusions, to let them remain happy. But in pretending to be “sane and happy” I eventually learned to be so myself: even while still missing him so very much.
    In a way those who have not grieved deeply are still children. Now when I so miss those days of being innocent of deep grief and still having my birth family intact, I tell myself I must remember to leave the innocence and joy of others intact by letting them have the joys I once had, it is not for me to cut it short by
    sharing my pain. I learned to speak of Dad rarely and think of him daily. Life is
    short, let them have their time of innocence and joy: soon enough they will
    know the truth about grief, a hard truth not mine to teach.
    Now I grieve for sister and dad, worry for brother and husband.
    My mother remarried before the first anniversary of my dad’s death. She seemed to grieve only a very short time, and was dating within four months the man she married. She is 85, and has been married 11years, my dad gone 12 years. My mom had a grave marker put on her grave plot next to my Dad’s that said “together forever” 12 years ago, but her “forever” grieving didn’t last four
    months. In fact the day after his burial, she was rearranging furniture saying “finally I can get my living room back in order without him always on my couch.”
    They had been “happily married” since 1946. “Everybody grieves differently” they say. But some don’t grieve much. I will try to do right by her in her last days, anyway. But why ever she did what she did, she caused my own grief to be worsened. Now she insists hers is the “greatest grief a person can bear.”
    My niece is torn apart, but my mother wants to be in the limelight. Well she can have the limelight. It does not help the pain of loss.
    Mostly I wanted to tell my thoughts about the miracle that is the human body with the spirit in it. I miss my sister in her body and I miss my dad in his body, I miss their spirits-in-body where I can see and touch and laugh out loud with
    them and where I can still feel the love shining out through their eyes. This is not wrong to grieve over: this was a gift while I had it, a gift from God.

  27. Gia said on December 29, 2014 at 2:03 am ... #

    To the (my sister writer)
    God be with you you sound like a better person then your mom.
    I wish good luck to your brother and husband.

  28. Saul said on January 5, 2015 at 2:42 am ... #

    I know how it feels to grief I has not hit me until last year not untill my grandma died two day before my birth day I thought I was ok but I just couldn’t Handle it so I did not speak to people I keep my emotions in side and not show my feelings peopel asked “are you ok” I said “yea I am fine why” I lied to people I lied to my self about how I feel I have never cried not sense my dad died 9 year ago but I could not keep it to my self not untill one day I cried to my hearts content untill I fell asleep all I know is that I hope that death go by fast and they did not feel pain and I know I still have a reson to live for my brothers and sister to help them thought life to help my parents to love and to care for them until death do use apart. So never grief alone.

  29. Sue said on February 5, 2015 at 9:38 pm ... #

    Tomorrow will be 19 weeks since I lost my soulmate. We’d been married 1 week shy of 27 years. Between us we had 5 children and 10 grands. Just 1 year ago we lost the youngest, my son, to suicide. Joe and I thought we’d have 2-3 years but in fact it was only 10 months from his lung cancer diagnosis. We tried to make our time special, but I still worked. Now that he’s gone I pretend that I’m fine because that’s what’s expected. I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid if I end my life that I won’t end up with Joe and I think of what it would do to the kids and grandkids. But I just don’t want to live without him anymore. Joe made me promise not to do anything “stupid” So I won’t. But grieving is taking over completely. How do I go on?

  30. Gia said on February 11, 2015 at 12:02 am ... #

    Dear Sue , you go on one day at a time , sometimes one hour at a time. It is hard I know. God be with you.

  31. julie said on March 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm ... #

    I lost the love of my life 5 yrs ago.he was 43,I 41,our son 16.it was a sudden heart attack at Christmas.I was once a confident,Strong woman.I struggle with .my emotions daily now.I dream about our life together,it’s . So painful when I wake up and he is not here.my life was put on hold the day I was told he died .

  32. Lou said on April 5, 2015 at 1:18 am ... #

    My son Matthew died on December 2 2014 at the age of 17 from complications of cystic fibrosis, he had one sibling, a sister who does not have it. My wife and I are staying strong with our faith in God, but our family is torn apart by 1/4 and we are in pain. With me, grief comes in bursts that I don’t think will ever diminish, time will tell.

  33. Flick said on April 10, 2015 at 10:35 pm ... #

    My best friend since childhood died the same day he finally told me he would move in with me. I’d had a plan: he’d move in, stop having to look after his dad, finally get some kind of structure in life, and maybe start to come off heroin. But instead I got a call that night saying he’d been found on the bathroom floor. When he started taking heroin I was so worried but I knew if I completely opposed it I’d lose him and he was so depressed that without it I think I’d have lost him much sooner. He was the closest I’ve ever been to someone and I always thought we’d end up wrinkly old friends with silly stories to tell our families but instead he died at 19. It’s been nearly 5 months but I’ve cried nearly every night since then.

    I can’t end it because it would destroy my nearly-suicidal mum and if my death affects my friends half as much as his death affected me I can’t put them through that. It feels like my life ended then and i’m just waiting however long it will take me to die, I’m 21 but I feel so old, like my body refuses to keep going. It gets harder every day.

  34. Al said on April 14, 2015 at 11:19 pm ... #

    I lost my girlfriend and my best friend ten years ago she died in my arms I drink every day I pop pills I have night mares o get violent and sleep alot doctor says I will die soon I hope so

  35. Lynne Cox said on April 19, 2015 at 7:28 am ... #

    I lost my beautiful, 35 year old daughter Kelly on 17th March 2015 – she was incredibly brave, loving and inspirational having battled lung and heart disease for over 21 years – over 200 attending her celebration of life service and she was buried at sea last week as per her last wishes. She was adamant that no one should suffer pain or unhappiness through her passing but my grief and sense of loss is overwhelming – the thought of facing the rest of my life without her is unbearable. I know this is going to be a lifelong journey for me now and my life will never be the same. Am trying to keep positive for her and take each day as it comes but the pain is physical – like a knife turning in my heart every day and it saps my energy and will. Her friends are fabulous but are also suffering so I try to keep positive in front of them all, also my son and his family. It is so hard to carry on normally. I just hope I can one day feel joy at my memories rather than this awful pain and regret.

  36. Emma said on May 7, 2015 at 2:51 am ... #

    My fiance died on the afternoon of our house warming/engagement party. Then guests started arriving. It’s 9 years ago as of yesterday. A mutual friend, who was close with my fiance text me yesterday and said:
    ‘You have a husband. It’s time for you to stop being sad…stop being morbid and think of happy times you had then, and all of the happy times to come’. This is someone I never see. Most of the time, I’m ok. I’ll never be the same person. My fiance was the love of my life. Even my now husband knows that…it’s a hard truth to bear but it’s true. I’ll never be the same person…and on the anniversary of my love’s death, I’m always sad. I can’t help it. It was a tragic death on the eve of the beginning of celebrating our life together. I’ll never get over that. I really will never get over it. It’s a part of me and it’s something I carry around every day and think about almost every day. I miss him every day.

  37. Frances said on June 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm ... #

    I lost my husband of 34 years four months ago. I had to return to work a week after his death and felt I was never given the opportunity to just cry. Everyone was wonderful for a week or two. Now they say things like it’s been four months you can move on and find someone else. That’s not the case as well who grieve know. I put on my happy face for work and come home and cry. This article really helps when I’m sitting by myself wondering when I really can ” move on ” I don’t think that will happen, at least not for a long time. That’s everyone for your posts, reading them does help.

Leave a Comment

Your email is never shared.

*
*

By submitting a comment, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions.