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Why Does Grief Last So Long?

Someone looking to understand why grief lasts so long and learn how therapy can help these feelings

Grief can feel like an unwelcome guest that sometimes overstays its welcome. It's that feeling of sadness, emptiness, and longing that comes when we lose someone or something we love. But why does grief hang around for what feels like forever? Let's dive into the reasons behind this lingering sadness.

In Grief, One Size Does Not Fill All

First off, grief isn't a race. It's more like a marathon than a sprint. Everyone's grief journey is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all timeline for how long it should last. Some people may start to feel better after a few weeks or months, while for others, it can take much longer.

The More You Care, the Longer Grief Lasts

One reason grief can stick around is because of how much we care about what we've lost. Whether it's a person, a pet, or even a dream, the stronger our attachment, the deeper our grief. It's like trying to fill a hole in our hearts that just won't seem to close.

You Cannot Ignore Grief

Another thing that can make grief last longer is if we don't deal with our feelings. Sometimes, it's easier to push our sadness away or pretend it's not there. But ignoring your emotions only makes them stronger. It's like trying to hold a beach ball underwater – eventually, it's going to pop back up, sometimes when we least expect it.

The Challenges of Complicated Grief 

Sometimes grief gets even trickier when it becomes complicated. This can happen if there were unresolved issues with the person who passed away or if the loss was sudden and traumatic. It's like trying to untangle a knot – it takes time and patience to sort through all the emotions.

What Helps When Dealing With Grief?

Having support from friends and family can make a big difference in how you deal with grief. But if you don't have people to lean on or healthy ways to cope, it can feel like you're stuck in a dark tunnel with no end in sight. Finding ways to express your feelings, whether it's through talking, writing, or art, can help you find your way out. Seeking out mental health support may be a helpful tool in these moments.

How to Manage Grief Triggers

Someone looking to get help from a therapist for their grief

And then there are triggers – those little reminders of what we've lost that can bring all the feelings rushing back. It could be a song, a smell, or a special date on the calendar. These triggers can catch us off guard and make it feel like we're right back at square one.

But here's the thing – it's okay to grieve for as long as we need to. There's no shame in taking our time to heal. Grief isn't something we can rush or ignore. It's a natural part of being human, and it shows just how much we care about what we've lost.

So if you're struggling with grief that just won't seem to go away, know that you're not alone. It's okay to reach out for help, whether it's from friends, family, or a professional counselor. Remember, healing takes time, but eventually, the clouds will start to lift, and the sun will shine again.

How We Can Help

Want to learn more about how we can help you through your grief?

Then follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation

  2. Or, you can book directly online with the therapist of your choice

  3. Begin your journey towards a calmer, more balanced life

Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:

                                                                   Author Biography

Marie Clyne, therapist in Colorado

Marie Clyne is a licensed social worker and provider at Catalyss Counseling. Her focus centers on adults struggling with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Marie's passion lies in getting to know you, who you want to be, and working together to help translate those goals into reality. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

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