Everyone Grieves Differently
When I interact with clients in the process of communicating with a dead loved one, often times there is a level of grief that the person is still experiencing. Sometimes people are impatient with themselves and almost mystified that they are still within the throes of grief months, years, or even decades after their loved one passed. I always remind people that everyone grieves differently. Just as our interpersonal communications, thoughts, and feelings are uniquely ours, so is our method of grieving.
Grief is Relationship-Based
Our grief is generally directly related to our relationship with our loved one. If you were a care-giver for an aging parent, for example, your grief might be more pronounced than a sibling who only occasionally visited your parent. Conversely, if you were able to spend a lot of time with a friend or family member before they died, seeing their transition from the earthly plane resulting in their death, your grief may be secondary to the relief you feel that your loved one is no longer in pain. If you have unfinished business with a loved one, their passing me evoke strong emotions that may intensify your grief. Each person grieves differently.
Grief is an Individual Experience
Even if you’re grieving with friends, family or a support group, your personal experience is individualistic. You may relate to other people grieving the loss in similar ways, but your personal experiences with the person and your own idiosyncrasies make this grief an individual experience.
When I remind clients that every person grieves differently, I also implore them to be gentle with themselves. Well-meaning friends may tell you to “Get over it.” Or encourage you to move on. Others may provide opinions that in effect convey the theme that you’re not grieving “right”. If that happens, graciously thank them for their concern and tell them that you are grieving in your own unique way, which is “right” for you.