I'm sorry for your loss.
My father died unexpectedly when I was 27.
I don't remember much of the first year without my dad, other than some pretty messed-up holidays. This is a protection mechanism. The first year is the most dreadful, because of holidays, birthdays and the awkwardness of figuring out how to celebrate something supposedly happy with the air of absence and sorrow hanging over it.
When people initially told me in a few years it would be better, I was furious with them. I didn't want it to get better and I didn't want believe it would--a part of me felt that I would be a bad daughter if I stopped grieving. As I started healing and felt less pain...TI worried if I was grieving too little. And I thought maybe I had grieved too much, as well! Very confusing. I felt like I was doing everything wrong.
But this wasn't the case. I was grieving just right for me. And after a few years, it was still sad but not heartwrenchingly so and it kept getting a little better with each passing month. I realized that I wasn't a bad daughter. I realized that I was healing and getting on with my life and that by going on, I was, in my own way, honoring my dad. My father has been deceased for seven years now, and there are still times when it's painful, but it's not crippling or scary any more. And I remember much more of our happy times, too.
People grieve at different rates and I feel it is wrong to try to put a timeline on healing. Our society is very timeline-based, even if those timelines don't properly apply to messy, organic processes like recovering from the loss of a loved one.
If however, you find that your grieving is truly interfering with your family, work and social life after year, you probably need some help working through your sorrow. Books, videos, chaplains or ministers or therapists are all very helpful in situations such as yours.
My father died unexpectly when I was 27, and I had trouble figuring out what was an "appropriate" amount of grieving.
· 1 decade ago