Jump to content

Why do others find it necessary to make judgements about the length of time you have been grieving?

Recommended Posts

The man I loved died almost 11 months ago and even a few months after his death people were gently suggesting that I'd grieved enough. People would say "He wouldn't want to see you like this" or "He'd like to know you were leading a full and happy life". Nobody seemed to really understand I was in the depths of despair and couldn't help it. Grief doesn't have a time limit - it has a course of its own and that is different for every individual.


Now more time has passed I find this problem is rearing it's ugly head again. People don't seem to understand I am still grieving. There are times when I feel okay in between the grief and as time passes these seem to increase but I still get those moments when my thoughts wander back and it is painful. To think of the qualities that make up that wonderful person that is now gone forever makes me ache. To imagine the life we would have had if we were given more time - our wedding, our children etc - is almost unbearable.


I never intend to go there with my thoughts as it wipes me out emotionally but sometimes things around you act as a trigger and before you realize it - there you are. When I am there I just go with it. Why should I pretend otherwise to spare the feelings of others? I am hurting to my very core and won't act cheery to make them more comfortable. Neither do I wallow in it as it is painful.


When I am in this state I find it really sad that people cannot understand. I have been advised to remove all reminders of him from my life, to get a hobby, to get out more etc. They really believe they are being helpful rather than insensitive.


All I know is that it is approaching the first anniversary and that is going to be very difficult . But I adored this man and knowing him (although fleetingly in comparison to some) changed my world and touched the very heart of me so I cannot act as if none of this happened.

Link to comment

In my opinion a year is not much time at all for grieving the death of a partner. I have grieved plenty of things more than a year after the fact, and nothing as traumatic as losing the love of my life. It sounds like you are very accepting of your own process, and that's a wonderful thing. It sounds lonely to not have others understand--it's even worse when they think they're helping, but it's having the opposite effect. Cut them some slack because really they DON'T understand and I don't see how they could. Is there a way to express exactly what you need from them? Some guidance is in order. Let them know that certain comments are hurtful rather than helpful. Tell them how they can best be good friends to you.

Link to comment

I don't think it's because they are trying to judge you, but because they are concerned and want to see you happy again.


I do believe grief has a time limit though. It's definitely different for everybody, but there's a point at which the griever needs to let go instead of becoming severely depressed.

Link to comment

I know they are probably worried about me but I am working through things the best way I know how. I am a private person and when they respond to me in this way it makes me even more reluctant to open up.


I led a very ordinary life (some might say quite unremarkable) but I went along steadily and was content with my lot. I met my love when I least expected it and it was like nothing I had experienced before. We seemed to quickly develop an intuition that couples only usually develop after years together and sometimes never. We respected each other as individuals and enjoyed each others idiosyncrasies. Meeting him was like the arrival of summer. He has left a gaping hole in my life.


There is no quick fix. When death decided to rampage through our world it took his life and decimated mine. Now I am now trying to pick up the pieces - slowly slowly - as I feel able. I don't choose to feel like this but I cannot make it stop. People talk of letting go and moving on but I can't let go of him and I don't think I wish to.


There is a quote that says it all for me:

"...because I loved him so much, and I don't think I will ever love someone that much again. I've never met any man that I could love like that, and who loved me back the same way. And without that love, how can my life ever complete? How can I ever be completely happy?"

DR BRIAN WEISS "Only Love Is Real"

Link to comment

You can't be in the mind-frame forever that your life will never be complete without this man. You will be holding yourself back so much. You don't have to let go of his memory or the way he touched your heart and life, but you do have to let go of the idea that you will never love someone that much or be that happy again.

Link to comment

It certainly depends on how long the relationship lasted as well as the quality of it, but I think if you've been longer than 3 months grieving you should seek out a counselor so you have somebody to talk to if nothing else. It's okay if you grieve for however long you need, but due to the amount of stress grieving puts on the body, it is extremely unhealthy to continue that way on your own because you are shortening your life span by doing so. Would you allow an illness to go on for longer than 3 months without seeking out some form of help? I grant that grieving is not an illness, but at the same time being continually stressed, sad, and full of pain is not doing you any favors and it is very fair to yourself to seek out help in dealing with the pain so you can return to a less stress-filled life, one where the grieved-for is still part of your life but doesn't bring you emotional torment every time you think of them. Fond remembrance is much more healthy than abject anguish.


Since you can't come to peace by yourself, having someone to lean on and talk to may be just what you need.

Link to comment

I don't know that I will ever return to the person was before. Though it may sound cliched it feels as if something has died inside me or my fire has gone out. Most of the time I feel hollow or empty and those are the normal moments. When the grief hits it tends to surge like a tsunami following days of trying to keep it at bay. My love lost his son a year before he lost his life and I remember him talking to me about how he wished he could stop the memories. I understand exactly what he means now.

Link to comment



People just want you to be okay because they care about you that’s all but grief doesn’t work like that. To other people, people on the outside, a year may seem a long time but it isn’t. You have to look after yourself regardless of how it may look to others but as long as you are doing right by yourself.

After 4 months I began to feel better and in some ways I thought I was okay but if I’m honest it’s taken me just over two years to be able to feel things properly, deeply, within myself without feeling a bunch of other feelings that would complicate things and cloud my mind.


Everybody grieves at different rates. It may not take you as long as I did to feel okay again but as long as you are moving in the right direction then keep going. Don’t worry about how it may look to other people, it’s how it looks to you that matters.

Link to comment

Your grief is yours. Others may want to be helpful, but it's yours to deal with, figure out, and heal.


Mine lasted severely for 6 months, and even now after 3+ years, I still miss her.


You go at your own pace.

Link to comment

Hugs... Mine passed away almost 9 years ago this Sep. I still grieve. Not like before, but nonetheless its still there. I still ache to be with him. I will forever. But eventually the sadness fades. I do actually go thru some days where I dont even think of Ian. I NEVER thought that would be possible. One day at a time, let me know if you ever want to chat.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...