19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



Facebook    

 

SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace

 

 

 

 


powered by centersite dot net
Grief & Bereavement Issues
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Family & Relationship Issues
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Death & Dying

Understanding When Grief is Complete

Kathryn Patricelli, MA, edited by Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

It can be difficult for someone who is grieving to know when grieving will be completed. Grief can be an extended process. It has no set timeframe for finishing. Though the passage of time provides little clue as to whether or when grieving will be done, there are several signs that indicate when people are starting to complete the process.

During the deepest stages of grief, people may feel that there is nothing to live for and that all of life is negative. Grieving people also often feel tremendous loyalty for their lost relationship and resist anything that they perceive will take them away from honoring that lost relationship. They are likely to feel very sad and lost. They are likely to be psychologically oriented towards honoring events that occurred in the past rather than events that are presently occurring, or which they might look forward to under other circumstances in the future. Important signs that grief is winding down therefore include the slow return of the ability to feel pleasure and joy again, the return of a present or future-facing orientation (e.g., looking forward to things in the future again), and the return of desire for reaching out to others and re-engaging in life.

The transition from a sad focus on the past to a re-engaged hopeful focus on the present and future does not happen all at once. Rather, it occurs in bits and pieces in a back and forth manner. Grieving people may start to feel guilty when they realize that they are not wanting to remain in a grieving state. They may see their recovery from grief as an abandonment of their past relationship and resist this perceived abandonment. Of course, it is not disloyal or dishonorable to a lost relationship for grieving people to find new ways to feel happy again – but it can feel that way. In time the guilt feelings tend to subside too as life continues.

A final sign that grief is ending occurs when grieving people are able to think about their lost person, place or thing more as a happy past memory and less as a painful present absence. They may still feel pain at the loss, but it is not as acute as it once was.