Going through loss never gets easier. You may have experienced grief multiple times and in various situations, but here’s one thought that remains the same: when does grief end?
Professionals have debated and studied this question for years. Hence, there is a timeline provided but deviating from this period is not necessarily wrong.
The truth is that you cannot set a deadline on grief. People feel things differently, and their emotions vary in depth. Some may experience the pain of loss briefly and move on, while it may be a consistent feeling for others.
It’s important to remember that individuals experience different forms and intensities of grief. Nevertheless, it is an essential part of life that will help you cope with the loss and, eventually, help you get through it.
How long does grief last?
A study found that the most intense feelings or the “peak” of grief reaches its climax at around 4-6 months after the loss. It can subside earlier or later, depending on how you handle your emotions.
As indicated above, the usual peak is at 4-6 months. However, it’s not wrong to feel better earlier than that or have your grief last longer.
One thing to remember is that grief comes and goes, similar to waves. You may feel like you’re entirely okay one day, only for sorrow to visit like an unwelcome visitor.
On the other hand, you may be feeling down for a really long time, and it may feel like you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then, one day, you’ll wake up, and it will not hurt as much anymore.
How does grief start?
The truth is that you can already start grieving before the loss even occurs. This may be because of a terminal diagnosis or anything that forebodes a loss. This feeling is what we call anticipatory grief.
Anticipatory grief has its own pros and cons. It may help you prepare for the loss and provide a cushion for the pain. In spite of that, it can also extend the grief longer than the alternative.
Why is it important to know the timeline of grief?
Yes, there is no fixed period for mourning. It can last for as long or as short as you need. However, knowing the timeline of grief may bring some comfort to those who are feeling lost.
Ignoring the timeline of grief may work for some people, too. Others may find comfort in knowing that they are not wrong or flawed for grieving for a long time or for a short time. What may then be helpful is to understand the stages of grief. Rather than a time frame, knowing the steps to overcome grief may be beneficial instead.
Grief is a reminder of love.
Love and attachment do not cease just because someone is physically gone. The pain and grief you feel are reminders of the love you have for the departed. The deeper the grief, the deeper the love is.
The ones that we love will never truly leave us. Thus, you may find yourself missing your departed loved one on random days, and it might come with pangs of grief. Just remember that it is entirely natural to mourn and grieve over loss.