stages of grief
By Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP , Author of When Every Day Matters (Simple Abundance Press)
How we feel about a person’s death changes over time. I think it has everything to do with our relationship to that person and maybe even the age we are when we experience permanent loss. I also think it has to do with accepting the mystery of death. Sometimes the death of someone is so shattering in the beginning that we barely function. Then, as time moves ahead, little-by-little, we begin to heal a little at a time depending on the intensity of the love we felt for the deceased.
Sometimes, however, our grief experience is in reverse and delayed as mine was in the case of my father who passed away I was thirteen years old. Rarely talking about him it appeared on the outside that I was coping fine. It wasn’t until my early 30’s in graduate school – while attending workshops to deal with unconscious elements – my long ago grief for my father was uncovered. I discovered then how much pain and sorrow had been buried when he was layed to rest. I learned then that just because my father was at peace didn’t mean I necessarily was. I addressed then, consciously and seriously, my deep sadness and loss of him. And, while a delayed grief process, the-better-late-than-never paradigm was applicable.