Of course the answer to that question is “Yes”.
“Helpful” (and not so helpful!) Comments
There is no universal “right” or “wrong” way to grieve. Although you may feel like you’re somehow grieving “wrong” based upon comments made by well-meaning friends or family, there is no such thing as grieving “wrong”.
We all grieve in our own unique way.
Degrees of Grief
Personally, I feel that grieving is a way for me to find the “new normal” that no longer includes the incarnation of that person in my life. Depending upon how involved that person was in my life before his/her body died, determines my approach to grieving.
For someone who was only tangentially in my life, the grief process might be short-lived or even seem non-existent. Whereas, the death of someone who was an integral part of my daily life may evoke feelings of grief weeks, months, or even years after my loved one has crossed over.
Living with Grief
Grief can occur and reappear unexpectedly. Sometimes deep feelings of loss aren’t felt until long after the funeral. I think sometimes delayed grief occurs because the feelings of shock keep the body on autopilot to help you get through what you have to get through to make the funeral arrangements and bid farewell to your loved one’s body. However, only after you have time to reflect and allow yourself to assimilate the death are you able to experience all the feelings associated with your loss.
You may find yourself experiencing incongruous feelings such as both relief and sadness, or both anger and joy. Although I stand by my perspective that there is no “right” way to grieve, I have personally found it useful to allow myself to feel every emotion that rises to the top. ALL of your emotions are acceptable. To better understand your grief, ask yourself WHY you feel a certain emotion.
Take the time you need
Do the activities that suit you
Skip the activities that aren’t helpful
…and most importantly…
Be gentle with yourself!