How long do you need to grieve?
Since I’m sure that many of you would suggest counseling for this, I’ll start by saying that I do have a therapist. I’d just like to hear my fellow jellies weigh in, from personal experiences.
I have had someone close to me die just about every year for the last 15 years, starting with my sister. Afterward there appeared to be this sort of domino effect in my life where I would lose at least one person every year. Some years there were 2 or 3 deaths, some years there were none. I am lucky to come from a reasonably large, but tight knit family. The years that there were none were very scarce, I can think of 3… I think. There were maybe 5 that were not very close to me, but were tragic or shocking enough to hit hard. For example, my 16 year old neighbor taking her own life on my property. I was not close with the girl, but I knew her, and finding that a child has taken their own life so close to home (literally), was pretty upsetting. Either way, I’d be lying if I said my sensitivity isn’t amped up at this point.
I recognize that this is probably excessive loss, that most people probably didn’t, or don’t, have such a steady lineup of funerals by 28 years old. I also most likely exacerbated the issue by deciding to work in hospice 5 years ago. I thought that it would be therapeutic for me, that it would help me to learn a new approach to death and grieving. Unfortunately I don’t think that it helped, as rewarding as the work was. Many of you know that I have taken an extended hiatus from my job.
Anyhow, I often feel like I haven’t had sufficient time to heal from the previous loss before the next one hits. Unfortunately I believe this has been a recurring pattern in my life. I often catch myself now hoping to rush the process, to just get it over with and bury the hatchet, so to speak.
So how long do you need to grieve a loss?
Does it depend on the circumstances?
Does it depend who the person was, and whose loss was most difficult for you to grieve?