Grief is normal emotion people feel when someone or something that is close to them is taken away. Significant losses in one’s life can be very painful. Individuals may experience a wide range of emotions. Some people may experience anger, shock and guilt. The emotions can seem overwhelming as though there is not much hope for healing. Losses associated with grief may come from various causes including a breakup, death of a loved one, or the death of a pet.
How long grieving lasts
The process of grieving varies significantly depending on what has been lost and how someone experiences loss. Differences among individuals come from many factors such as different life experiences, faiths, personalities and ways of coping. It can take months or even years. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance — the well-known stages of grief do outline potential reactions that are normal for someone to experience, but a person doesn’t have to go through all the stages or follow them in order. There’s no normal timeframe or steps to neatly follow because it’s different for everyone, but there are ways to help someone get through it that have the potential to encourage, heal and enrich their lives.
Speaking with a professional can help individuals get through tough emotions and work to overcome any roadblocks in the way of healing, regardless of how well or not someone is dealing with the loss. However it is important to note that though it’s normal to experience grief, after time and acceptance the feelings should become less intense. If that doesn’t seem to happen, grief may have formed into a more serious condition such as complicated grief or depression.
Contact Dr. Drutman or Ms. Schechtman right away to get help if you:
- can’t function through day-to-day activities
- blame yourself for the loss
- feel withdrawn or numb to others for more than a few weeks
- have thoughts of wishing you’d died too
- don’t feel like life is worth living
To learn more about grieving over the loss of people and pets, or to get in contact with us at the Atlanta Behavioral Consultants, please call Marsha Schechtman, LCSW at 770.753.4911 or Howard Drutman, Ph.D. at 678.867.7020.