Here is a realist take on grief. Time does help. Time is like a new layer of skin that develops over a gaping wound. It takes awhile before the wound is covered, and even then, that new protective layer is quite fragile. But if tended to properly, that new layer of skin will completely cover the wound and most people will never know you had an injury. Even if no physical signs remain, you will remember the wound.
That’s how I feel this year, as I approach the third year anniversary of my father’s death. As I’ve mentioned, I’m back working in the same building as I was on the day he died. All of the same Christmas decorations are back up. I’ve been struck with bouts of wistfulness and flashbacks to that day when I got the call that my father had died. But the black cloud isn’t quite as dark as it was the last couple of years. Of course, nowadays concern for Mom takes up a lot of my thinking time. But still, I know part of this is the natural grieving process.
There is no timetable. For some people, it may take a year, for others several years, and frankly, some people may never escape those black clouds. None of us should be judged by how we grieve. Of course, if we think loved ones are in danger of hurting themselves or others because of the weight of their grief, then action should be taken to intervene and get them help. But the grieving process is very personal. While it may help to read books to know the stages of grief, etc., it truly is one of those things you don’t fully understand until you experience it.
How have you handled your grief over the loss of a loved one? Has the passage of time helped?