Grief is a very individual and unpredictable experience. There is not a “proper” way of grieving
and no timetable can be applied when dealing with loss. However, we sometimes expect that by
a certain point, we should be feeling less pain and suffering. Sometimes, those around us also expect the same, and we may feel pressure to move on and not allow ourselves to grieve as we need to.
Another expectation is what we grieve: We naturally expect grief when we experience the loss of a parent, child, sibling, partner, close friend, however there are many other losses that are not as acknowledged. We may grieve the loss of a pet, a home, a job, a relationship, an identity. Unfortunately, when grief is not acknowledged or does not feel “acceptable,” the pain is compounded by feeling we do not have the permission to feel what we are feeling. It is so very essential through these experiences that we find that permission within ourselves.
Suppressing or trying to avoid grief can prolong suffering and lead to more mental health struggles long-term, such as depression or anxiety. It takes a lot of emotional effort to try to force your grief away; that being said, it may feel safer or more comfortable to do that rather than allow yourself to lean into the grief you are experiencing. Leaning into those emotions can feel scary and overwhelming. Having someone you trust to walk along this path with you, and help you create the safe space you need, is vital.