Coping with the loss a loved one is one of life's great difficulties. If you have experienced the pain of mourning, you know that any way to ease the loss is welcomed. While our knowledge and study of grief continues to evolve, it's important to note that not everyone grieves the same way: People have individual patterns and different outlets for grief. There has also been research on stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance—but people do not always experience these stages in any particular order, nor do they experience every stage. Some people suffer added guilt and confusion over a loss, especially if the relationship was difficult. In the worst cases, there are individuals who suffer a form of severe grief known as prolonged grief or formerly complicated grief, which can last months or years. Without help and support, this form of grief can pave the way to isolation and chronic loneliness.
What Is Grief?
When You Lose a Loved One
You can’t put a timer on feelings of pain after loss; nor can you diminish or avoid the suffering. In fact, if you suppress or deny your grief, the pain is likely to return again and again. You must deal with it anew each time. The pang of grief will stay with you for as long as it needs. Some cultures embrace death, dying, grief, and loss like they are simply a part of life; there is no need to suppress or deny the pain. Customs and practices of grieving can be elaborate and entrenched in tradition, most of which eases suffering to some degree.