WHEN SHOULD I STOP GRIEVING?

WHEN SHOULD I STOP GRIEVING?
September 19, 2018 Joy Iseki
grief counselling

“We lost him during the time we had needed him the most. It was a week to my wedding. He was the only child of his own parents. So the nearest older relative in the family were his own cousins, who were also seen as our uncles. Dad’s death was the worst of all.

We had contemplated postponing the wedding, but my mom and mother-in-law would have none of it. They were a bit skeptical about such plans. Part of their reasons was a bit superstitious. They feared the chances of the wedding not holding again in the future. My husband, who was then my fiancé, didn’t mind, and neither did his father. But my family wanted it to hold, anyway. So we had the wedding. A week after dad’s death. He was hurriedly buried 4 days after death because of the wedding.

I am the only girl of my father, and the last of his three children. To say that I was close to my dad, would be an understatement. He was the one that used to buy my pads until the moment he died, even though I was already a working class adult. Dad knew my likely period dates, even. He was friend with any boyfriend I had! We were that close. My relationship with my father played a great one on my self-esteem and attitude towards men; except that It kept me a bit apart from mom, somehow.

It’s been three years since I lost my father. And I have become a mother since then. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t shed some tears for him. Sometimes, I think the preparation to the wedding didn’t allow me grieve him enough; that I might have missed really mourning him the way I thought he deserved. May be that’s the reason I keep grieving, thinking I didn’t do it enough when I should have? I really don’t know. I just miss my dad. I have been in and out of depression twice since then. My husband sometimes accuses me of not wanting to let go. How do I do it? I was forced to put on a wedding gown when I had wanted a mourning gown, then. I really wanted the wedding postponed, but for some family reasons.

I am learning to grieve him now, so I can let go. But this time, I wish to do it my own way, without anyone telling me how to go about it. I think it’s time I let him go, truly. He deserves a rest in peace. But it’s really difficult for me.”

Ultimately, the decision to let go of grief is up to the bereaved. That said, it is important to allow the time of healing. Because you are the one who knows what you feel inside. You may be the only to truly know if you are healed, or not. Yet, one thing is certain: when you are healed from the pain of your loss, you cease to remember them with sorrowful feelings anymore. Rather, with reminisce.

When that would happen is usually up to the mourner.

Different people have their own unique ways of grieving their losses. Some do it so loud and intense, but fast. Then they move on with life. Others may be finding it a little hard to believe. This would cause their grieving to take more time. Whatever category you fall in, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, neither any time table for it to end.

But, be realistic. Do not deny, or try to suppress how you feel for any reason, otherwise, you may be moving the grief into other areas around your life. Some people are still looking for their dead fathers and mothers in their spouses; while some, the late spouses in their children, and attempts to move them back to life, bringing frustrations into their relationships with the living. I’m sure you don’t want to troll that path. It can be difficult to live that way.

As a counsellor, I know what it means for someone to allow the death of a beloved make living life suddenly cease. This usually do not happen immediately, it can take some time; many times happening without their conscious knowing. In most of these cases, it was due to not allowing themselves the freedom to grieve when they experienced the loss. Then, just when they thought they would move on, they realized how much the death still haunts them. Only that by this time, it had taken a toll on many other areas of their lives. Here’s where it can become a traumatic experience.

You may find some people afraid to love again, because they fear anyone they move too close to may suddenly leave them and die someday. Such persons are still being haunted by the death of a loved one. Their grief hasn’t ended, even though long gone. Because they have personalized such experience to affect their life in an unhealthy way.

When you lose someone you love, or something that you love; grieve. Don’t be ashamed to take time off other activities, if, it becomes necessary. Whatever it would cause you to be free from the lumpy feelings inside your throat, and to lift the heavy sorrowful weights off your chest, do it! But never go for anything that would only temporarily numb those feelings.

One trick you can do is to list all the things you miss about this person. Using the benefit of hindsight, replay those moments of your experiences with this loved one, and just enjoy it. Keep doing it every time you miss them. With time, the intensity would gradually fade, as it becomes an issue of “out of sight, out of mind.” It can be gradual, yet very effective for releasing someone off your mind. And, it’s far better than trying to pretend you didn’t have these experiences, or suppressing the thoughts. Suppression and repressions are usually not helpful when it comes to human emotions.

I think it will be okay to conclude that the time to stop grieving is entirely up to the bereaved. Whether it is a lost relationship, a child, spouse, father, sibling, mother, or things. Ultimately, you are the one to decide when you have had it enough. Pending when you do, it is always good to keep it safe. Again, never make any attempt at numbing the pains you feel. It is worth really over emphasizing because of its future costly implications. Allow the healing process, instead.

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To your successfully evolving life.

Joy Iseki

|The Counsellor|

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