Am I grieving too much?
For many people, the grieving process is intense and doesn’t end quickly.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my grandpa. Although it’s been two years since he died, I still have a hard time talking about him without crying.”—Olivia.
“My grandmother was a huge supporter of my goals, but she didn’t live to see me reach any of them. Grief hits me with each milestone in my life that she misses.”—Alison.
The grieving process can cause you to feel a wide range of emotions. For example:
“When my uncle died, I was in shock, and I stayed in shock for a long time. That was the first time someone close to me had died, and it hit me like a freight train.”—Nadine.
“I felt some anger toward my grandfather when he died, because he didn’t take care of his health, even though we urged him to.”—Carlos.
“My sister and I were the only close family members who weren’t present when my grandfather died. Afterward, I felt guilt because I felt I had not given him a proper goodbye.”—Adriana.
“A married couple whom our family was close to died in a car accident. Afterward, anytime a family member left the house, I felt fear, thinking that he or she might die too.”—Jared.
“When my grandmother died three years ago, I regretted not having spent more time with her while she was alive.”—Julianna.
Shock, anger, guilt, fear, and regret are normal aspects of grieving. If you have any of those feelings, be assured that eventually they will become less intense. In the meantime, how can you cope with your grief?
How to deal with the grieving process
Confide in a friend. The Bible says that a true friend is “born for times of distress.” (Proverbs 17:17) Talking to someone about how you feel can help you to get the support you need.
“It’s normal to grieve. Sometimes you can do it alone, but then you can get stuck in a cloud of gloom. That’s why it’s good to talk to someone.”—Yvette.
Remember your loved one. The Bible says that “a good person has good things saved in his heart.” (Luke 6:45, Easy-to-Read Version, 1992) You could write about your fond memories or create a scrapbook.
“I decided to write out all the things that my friend taught me before his death, and in that way his example lived on. Writing it down helped me to cope with the loss.”—Jeffrey.
Take care of your health. The Bible acknowledges the benefits of physical activity. (1 Timothy 4:8) Make sure you are getting the nutrition, exercise, and rest you need.
“Grief can interfere with your common sense, so you need to make sure that you’re staying healthy. Don’t neglect eating and getting sufficient sleep.”—Maria.
Help others. The Bible says: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35.
“Try to do things for others, especially those who have also gone through a loss. This can remind you that others are suffering too.”—Carlos.
“Ask Jehovah to give you the support and encouragement that you need. Some days will be harder than others, but Jehovah is always there for us.”—Jeanette.
Have reasonable expectations. Remember that each person grieves in his or her own way. The Bible says that Jacob “kept refusing to take comfort” when he thought that his son had died. (Genesis 37:35) So don’t be surprised if your grief lingers.
“I find that random sights can trigger memories of my great-aunt, even though it’s been 15 years since she passed away.”—Taylor.
Imagine that you broke a bone. That would be painful, and it might take some time to heal. Meanwhile, the doctor would give you suggestions on how to cooperate with your body and help it to heal.
It is similar with recovering from the painful “injury” of losing a loved one in death. It takes time for intense grief to subside. So be patient. Consider the suggestions in this article, and see which ones are most helpful.