If you took road trips as a child, you probably remember the question parents forever answered: “Are we there yet?” As you begin to regain your equilibrium after loss, you may wonder:

How long does grief take?

As long as it takes. Each person has a unique timeline and way of coping with loss.

Will I always miss my loved one?

Probably so. But, hopefully over time the deep ache will become more bearable, and memories of the person you’re missing will be gentle reminders of the impact they made in your life. It’s OK to always miss them.

Why are people rushing me?

People, especially those who have never lost someone close, may make insensitive comments about how long your grieving process lasts. If someone is in a hurry for you to “be yourself again,” remember they did not experience your relationship with the person you’re missing. Take as long as you need.

What about closure?

In the words of international grief specialist, Robert Neimeyer, PhD, “closure is for bank accounts, not for love accounts.” The purpose of mourning is not to “get over” it, but to get through the emotions of sorrow and move toward healing and a full life again.

Excerpted from Grief Survivor, by Beth Marshall.

Learn more about Beth at https://bethgmarshall.com

Read more by Beth on Open to Hope: Writing Mother’s Stories Helps Daughter Handle Loss – Open to Hope

Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall is a freelance journalist, speaker and author of two grief-related books. Grief Survivor, 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing; and A Time to Heal, a grief journal. After losing three close people in her life, Beth felt crushed and overwhelmed by the intense emotions of grief. As she began to write about her "uniquely awesome" family members, Marshall eventually began to smile again- and even laugh. Her hope is to help others discover joy-filled life after loss.

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