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Is Your Grief Consuming You

Peggy Green - Thee Grief Specialist

Written by The Grief Specialist Peggy Green

I have shared that there is no right or wrong way to grieve however there is a healthy way to grieve. Yet, as I have worked with those who have experienced the death of a loved one, I am finding with greater frequency those who are anywhere from 2 – 10 years after loss, are in the exact same raw painful point as they were when the loss first happened. My heart goes out to those who are in this place. To be suffering for so long has got to be horrible. Their life has slipped away. 

Before I go much further, I want to share what is normal in grief.  It is part of the circle of life and death. Most people experiencing normal grief and bereavement have a period of sorrow and sadness. Gradually these feeling ease, their loss is accepted and the ability to live their life is resumed. 

There is not a set timetable for mourning. You may start to feel better in as little as 6-8 weeks. The process can last anywhere from six months to three years. It is important to note that in normal grief, you will see changes in your life, such as finding it easier to resume to daily activities, return to work and even experience happiness again. 

These words from grief authority David Kessler and author Elizabeth Kubler-Ross really drive home the elements about rebuilding, being whole again yet not being the same. 

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler

Grief is a healthy process of feeling comforted, coming to terms with your loss and finding ways to adapt to life without your loved one. 

There is a 1 possibility of three to five years from now, your grief can be just as intense and raw as it is today. This often times is referred to as being stuck in grief. How you respond to your loss impacts your “stuckness” and determines your ability to heal, have hope and enjoy life again. 

Do a self-check. Have your moved forward in your loss journey? Ask yourself one simple question:

Is your grief center-stage of everything you do?  

If the answer is yes and it has been a long enough period for you to process your loss, then there is a good possibility that you are stuck in your grief. In normal grieving, it does not stay the dominant focus of your mental life. There are other things in which you can think about and spend your energy on. You are able to experience joy, peace, and happiness. 

How do you get out of your “stuckness”? It starts with making a decision that you are tired of the suffering and pain. That you are tired of loss being the one and only thing you think about. To get unstuck is not to forget your loved one. In fact, it is a way to honor them and live life as it was intended.

Decide that you can learn to live without them. It is a process and a journey. Ask yourself, “Do I want to live the rest of my life stuck in my grief?” You are the one in control of the direction you go and your future happiness. 

Once you decide that you no longer want to be stuck, find someone who can help you move forward. There is traditional talk therapy with counselors, and therapists or cutting edge, innovative coaches who can see you through your grief. Sometimes, a combination of healing modalities (counselor, coach, Reiki, etc.) is an extremely efficient way to move through grief to have hope of peace, joy, and happiness. 

What has you stuck in your grief? Not sure? Let’s talk and figure out  how you can get unstuck. There is hope. 





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