Grieving is a difficult and complex process that every person experiences differently. Grief is well-known to be the result of the loss of a loved one, but it may also be caused by other significant losses in life. Finding out that you or a family member has a terminal illness, losing a close relationship, moving away, or losing your job can all lead to a period of mourning.
Five Stages of Grief
Most people are likely familiar with the five-stage model but may not understand exactly what it entails. This model can help people understand where they are in their stages of mourning by putting their feelings into context. That being said, everyone mourns differently and there is no “right” way to grieve. It’s perfectly OK if you don’t experience each stage in order, or if you don’t go through a certain stage at all. The most important thing is allowing yourself to feel intense emotions without judging yourself.
How Long Does Grief Last?
The grieving process varies depending on each person’s experience and beliefs; someone who loses a loved one to a tragic accident will likely spend more time mourning than someone who ends a relationship with their significant other. In some cases, such as the passing of a close friend or family member, you may never “get over” the loss completely.
Dr. Michael Craig Miller says that grief rarely has a clear ending, but the difficult emotions associated with grief often change and begin to soften over time. It’s normal to miss a loved one if you hear a song they used to enjoy, or wish that they were with you for an important event in your life. Dr. Elisha Goldstein writes, “Grief may be something that doesn’t completely go away, but instead evolves and weaves into your life, lessening during some hours and making its presence known during others.” Mourning is a normal and important experience; it shows us how much we care for one another and the impacts just one person can have on others.
How to Cope with Grief
As you’re experiencing the intense emotions of grief, here’s some advice that may make your life a little easier in this tough time: