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Delayed Grief: When Grief Gets Worse

Delayed grief

Delayed grief…some grievers may wonder why they’re starting to experience their grief more intensely when it’s been several years since their loss. Rather than feeling they are getting “better”, they may find that they are crying more, withdrawing from friends and family, and perhaps feeling even less accepting of what’s happened.

How can this be? With more time to process, more time to experience life without a loved one, and more time to re-learn what this new life looks like…why would it suddenly feel like it’s harder to cope? And is it normal?

I don’t need to tell you that losing a loved one is unlike any other experience. While there is nothing that can ever prepare us for it, we can’t help but to expect all the same rules of life to apply.

Grief can be a cruel teacher, and one thing grievers quickly learn is that everything changes after loss. Life changes and all the rules have changed too.

Prior to loss you probably experienced the healing nature of time. After a surgery or illness, after a fight with a friend, following a traumatic event…in almost every one of those cases we can say that while other things may have contributed to the recovery, it was time itself that ultimately made the difference.

But the rules are different in grief. Rather than experiencing improvement as a steady climb that could be charted on a graph, most grievers will say their emotions and coping are predictable only in that they are totally unpredictable.

While there is no predictable path for coping after loss, there is a whole section of grievers who face the unexpected experience of delayed grief…and for them the question becomes “why?”. As in “why am I having a harder time coping now than I did before?”.

For the most part the answer lies in the individual circumstances of the griever, and while this won’t be the explanation that fits for everyone, typically those who experience a delayed grief reaction will fall into one of these categories:

  1. Losing a spouse at a young age with children still left to care for: I’ll always say there’s never a good time or good way to lose someone you love, but anyone who is widowed at a young age knows there are unique circumstances surrounding this type of loss. As parents we are always trying to protect our children from pain- from the littlest scrape to an issue with a mean kid at school. So trying to protect them from the pain of losing their Mom or Dad while simultaneously suffering with the loss of a spouse is a monumental task.
  2. Losing a parent, immediately followed by the care of the remaining parent: This may be one of the more common scenarios, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Because not only does the loss of a parent mean there’s a significant void in your life…this loss may create a black whole you don’t want your remaining parent to get swallowed into. We’re so used to our parents looking out for each other that a loss of one makes us realize that there’s no one left to look out for the other. So most children in this situation will shift their focus away from their own grief, and immediately into the care of the parent who is still here.
  3. Loss of any loved one in the midst of or immediately followed by your own health concerns: Few things slow us down like illness. Illness gets in the way of work, chores, travel, socializing…it even gets in the way of grieving. Because when we’re sick (and this can be physical or mental health) it will be nearly impossible to focus on much else. Grief zaps a healthy person of their energy. Someone who is already sick will have none left to spare.
  4. Loss of a loved one at a time where other significant events were taking place (divorce, loss of job, move): This comes up in almost every group I facilitate…wouldn’t it be nice if every griever could take time out from absolutely everything else and focus on nothing but their self care? To do nothing but sleep, and eat well and relax…like a spa retreat for grievers? It may sound crazy but that’s only because we know how unrealistic it is. Real life keeps happening and keeps moving forward. Not just the bills, and work, and holidays and laundry…for some grievers, their loss is coming at a time when they are dealing with another big life change that may be almost (or equally) as stressful. Can there be any time or attention left to grieve in the midst of these challenges?
  5. Any type of loss where the griever feels it is their responsibility to be the “strong one” in the family: A lot of people may say this about themselves, but this a perceived need for strength to the extreme. A griever in this scenario would be showing almost no sign of emotion, and would prohibit themselves from being sad or fragile (perhaps even privately) for fear it would cause the rest of their family structure to collapse.

There is one thing that each one of these scenarios has in common: in almost every case the griever may have felt they had to turn away from their grief for something more immediate…something that felt like it needed more urgent attention.

And why not? It’s easy to feel like there’s nothing to do about grief. Put it in the closet, stuff it under the bed, hide it away and forget about it…if you’re too busy with other things that need your immediate attention it may just feel like mourning is a luxury you can’t afford.

But here’s the bottom line: grief is very patient and will wait for you until every part of it has been fully realized. The grief you’re feeling now may just be the grief that was there before, only now you have more time to sit with it.

Maybe you’re just now coping with the loss of a spouse because the kids are a little older and more busy and they don’t need as much of your time. If you have already lost one parent and then the remaining parent dies, you may find yourself suddenly grieving for the first….even if it was many years ago since they passed. If you were sick and are healing or if you were going through a tough time and some of that situation has stabilized or even improved…there will be the grief. Waiting for you. Because it was always there all along but you may have just been too busy or too distracted or simply too unable to face it.

So do just that: sit with it. Realize it. Acknowledge it but don’t label it. Experience it without judging it. Throw the timeline away and don’t worry how many days, months or years it’s been. Don’t let the calendar decide how you should be feeling. Grieve in the way that you weren’t able to before, and regardless of when it happens know that the only way to get to the other side of grief, is through it.


One of the reasons www.griefincommon.com was created was to provide a place for grievers who aren’t necessarily “newly bereaved” to come and cope. So many of the groups and services out in the community are for those with a new loss. Only the griever understands how important it is to have help available even years after a loss. Find people here who understand – join us today.

64 thoughts on “Delayed Grief: When Grief Gets Worse”

  1. I just went through the 114th anniversary for my son. I wasn’t sure I would survive and at times didnt want to. This has been one of the hardest times I’ve had in years. I know there is much grief stuffed inside. Decided it was time for some therapy again. Also upped my meds.hard work ahead.

  2. Reading your post will push me to see someone. I don’t do well in large groups so I will reconnect with someone who helped me once before. It has been 18 months for me and I am seemingly worse. I need to get a handle on this and release it

  3. Hi
    My father died almost 5 yrs ago. I took care of him with Mmom. Then mom got extremely sick. I took care of her for 4 yrs after he died then she died. I was sole caregiver. The grief was terrible. I wanted to run from the pain and to make it worse siblings 1000 of miles away and well meaning friends told me to get over it. I found Griefshare it helped but last week my sister’s spouse died and it opened the wound in my heart again. I am crying a lot again and having a hard time dealing with 6 deaths now as my husband & I lost 3 adult children to cancer within a 16 month span of time. Thinking of going back to griefshare.

    1. My God Elizabeth. You’ve been through SO MUCH!! I lost my lovely father when i was 17. (He had a massive heart attack). (I’m 47 now!!) My lovely mother helped me through the awful pain. Then i lost my brave strong mother in October 2017. She was 82, cancer took her. We were so close. I developed arthritis in my 20’s. I still have treatment every month for it. My life is so empty & emotional without her. I miss her every minute. The pain is so intense. Because we were best friends & she was a great mum. I feel like i’ve lost 2 people. The pain is bad enough for me. But you. You’re such a strong person. I admire you! Hope you can get some help. I went on a Bereavement course. Met some nice, kind sympathetic people. Good luck in your journey of grief.

  4. I lost my husband of 33 years. It was not just a marriage, it was a love affair. We adored each other. I just can’t find myself doing anything without him. I have done all that is expected of me, babysit, travel, take care of myself and look strong for my family but I am broken. My heart is broken. I don’t want to hear any more words of comfort, they don’t help. I feel like no one can truly understand my loss. We worked hard all of our lives to be able to have “our time” once our 6 kids were on their way. We raised them all and dedicated ourselves to the family all the while looking forward to now. He got liver cancer and died within a month and a half. I feel robbed of our dreams, our plans. Every travel brochure, every activity brings me to tears. We were not joiners, we loved our time alone, we were the same. I don’t want to join a group. I went to a therapist but she was in her 30s and single. Sweet but no help. I don’t really believe that anyone could possibly feel my pain. I took my grandkids and parents on a cruise and I’m happy they loved it but it just revealed the life I have lost.

    1. Vivian,
      I truly understand what you are going through. I lost my husband of 32 years on April 5, 2018. He was and will always be my only true love. We raised 3 wonderful sons together and have 1 awesome grandson. But I am completely lost without him. He was my world, and me his.We really enjoyed each other and were always happy together. I used to have joy and really appreciated life, but it all died when my Michael died. I too do the things required of me, but I see other couples and am envious of their happiness. We were childhood sweethearts and were married as teenagers and we endured a lot in our lives together but no matter what we always had each other. My middle son recently told me that his dad and I were one heck of a team together and never had he seen a couple go through the things we did and come out on the other side swinging. Michael was a diabetic and was on dialysis and went into cardiac arrest and passed away. He died 2 weeks before his 48th birthday. So, just know you are not alone. I also don’t want to hear anymore “kind” words, you are right they do not help. I just thought I’d share my grief too. God bless, Carmen

    2. Wow, Vivian Marxauch, you nailed what I’m feeling too. Nobody has come close til now. I lost my husband of 32 years suddenly. We did everything right, house (white picket fence), family (2 boys now amazing men), jobs, dog, cars, and just when it’s our time, he’s gone. He doesn’t get to reap the rewards of his labor. He was only 57. And now everything brings pain. Holidays, travel destinations, music, movies, etc. It’s been 6 years and it’s worse. It’s funny how you said you don’t want to hear anymore words of comfort because I get that too. Even with my first grandchild. She is the air I breathe my morning dew my grounding rock the most beautiful thing I know, I still say inside my heart to him “ where are you, you’re supposed to be here with me”…a life’s plan gone wrong.

      1. I lost my husband of 29 years 8 months ago. He had pancreatic cancer – lived less than four months after diagnosis. He was a Navy veteran; always took good care of himself and had regular check-ups and excellent medical care. Every day seems more of a struggle without him. He was the love of my life. I have a wonderful daughter, son-in-law and a granddaughter I adore. I have great friends, supportive family and wonderful neighbors. I’m comfortable financially and have, for all appearances, a good life. I mourn him every minute. He is in everything I experience on a daily basis. He was the best man I’ve ever met and loved me undonditionally. The grief seems to have intensified rather than dissipated over time. I just don’t know what to do to release the pain. I carry on with my life – do all the right things – work, take care of my house, spend time with family and friends. What I really want to do is just hole up in my house and curl up in a ball. Does this ever end? What I wouldn’t give for one more minute with him.

        1. I lost my husband just before Christmas unexpectedly he was 59. He had been poorly but not seemingly life threatening. We had been together 25 years he was the love of my life, my best friend and soul mate. We had bought our place in Spain, he had already taken early retirement and I was due to finish at the end of March and moving permanently. I lost my father when he was young but losing your partner is completely different. Your life as you know it ended as well all your dreams and plans cut short. We had just been planning his 60th birthday party in Spain getting all the family over. I can’t see my future without him I’m still in shock I think as it still doesn’t feel real. Life carries on around me but I’m not engaging with it. Anything could happen in the world and it wouldn’t bother me I’m completely numb. Our girls keep me going and I have our wonderful memories but secretly I feel cheated. Why should I have to make do with memories? We should still have plenty of time to make more. Time is supposed to be a great healer and I’m sure in time you learn to live a different life but i can’t see any further than just getting up tomorrow and going through another day without him.

        2. I lost my husband of 32 years a year ago March 20/2019. He also died of pancreatic cancer.. was misdiagnosed as disc disease. I feel like we have very similar stories. I also have a great support system of friends, family and colleagues. I carry on with my life and do all the things that you do as well yet I feel the same. As the year anniversary approaches I feel myself sinking a little and this concerns me.

        3. I understand. I am lying here, in bed, and wanting the night to pass so I can get going with something to distract me. Do you think, Nancy, this pain is due to experiencing unconditional love? My Dave loved me & I could be totally myself with him. Do you think the contrast with other relationships is just too extreme? We met, and were married within 6 months & met & were engaged within 3 weeks! We loved each other for 33 years & I liked him. Keep going; there’s GOT to be an end to this pain! I am hoping xx. p.s. I am glad, though, that I experienced the unconditional love

    3. I share some of your feelings. My spouse/best friend/love of my life for 33 yrs was killed in a fatal car accident almost 7 weeks ago. I had two children from previous marriage when we married. Our honeymoon was going 50 miles away for the weekend which was still fun don’t get me wrong. We had one child together. While they were growing up we took three vacations to amusement parks. We’ve both worked hard all of our life. About two weeks prior to his accident he said we really deserve a vacation and where he would like to go. He was thinking next yr for our 25th anniversary but, I let him know had opened a vacation club beginning of yr and that we could go there this yr and some place better next yr for 25th. He brought home his available vacation schedule from work two days before the accident. And, we had been looking at possibilities to stay in that area in the meantime. He had 4.5 yrs before retiring. Had plans on spending lots of time on our houseboat, fishing, traveling and just really enjoying life and each other that we no longer will have the chance to do. So, now I’m dealing with selling the houseboat that we did get to enjoy for 2 yrs and a few months because of living in the Midwest snowy and cold winters. I’m so glad we did this when we did. Every time we stepped on the boat we felt like we are on vacation even if it was only for a few hours. As well as my grown kids coming every weekend to get the house ready to sell. I know my time without him has been short but, we did everything together. And, because of everything am dealing with I haven’t had a lot of time to just grieve. Don’t get me wrong I do but most of the time it has been suppressed in order to get my new me secured for my future. Hugs to you!

    4. My mum & dad were married 43 years when dad passed and like yourselves, were such a special couple. Proper soul mates. Met at 17 & married 9 months later. And no she was not pregnant, they waited along time for me. I just wanted to tell you that it does get better. Yes my mum still struggles but by god has she come along way. The inner strength that you will find will shine through. You have people around you who love you, cherish them. Let them in and help you.

    5. Vivian,
      I’m feeling the same and it seems like year 2 has been far worse. I lost my husband of 37 years in 2017. Today would have been our 40 anniversary and I’m so sad and lost. He was my best friend and we were happy being together. We had planned a trip to Disney before he passed, kept the reservation and went with more family but that was a mistake and heartbreaking. Take care of yourself.

    6. I am sitting here crying as your story is so much like mine. My grief is back with a vengence now. My husband was my best friend not a perfect marrige, but he always had my back. Everything about our home was ours together so the memories keep hitting me
      in the heart all the time. I never knew I could feel so bad.
      I feel so sorry for you and pray you get relief.


  6. I lost my 53 year old husband to leukemia a year and a half ago. It was terrible watching him go through the stuff that had to endure. Lately, all I can think about is his death and the days leading up to it. I cry every day. I don’t think this grief will ever go away.

    1. Hello Mary,

      I am so, so sorry for your loss. There are grief support groups on ‘Whatsapp’ that is an application you download onto your phone from ‘google play’. I’d be happy to talk you through it.

      I lost my dad mid year. He was killed suddenly as was hit by a car and I think I am just starting to realise just that- reality is setting in and I feel quite lonely. This seems a wonderful space to talk but I have also struggled to find a support group for myself. I am 31 and most of my friends just don’t know what to say or do- which of course is completely understandable. I feel like I need to be strong for my work as a teacher and for my mum. My husband is wonderful and just struggles to know what to do at this time, also very understandable.

      It is quite strange, reading this article; I have had thyroid issues and since being resolved with a little thyroxine, grief now seems to have the space to take over. Good thing school holidays are almost here!

  7. Do you have any resources for those of us that have recently lossed a spouse/father. There is no meeting places at this time and my husband was killed in a fatal car accident at the end of May.

    1. Mary, I am so sorry for your loss. Support can be very hard to come by. Hopefully you can find it by visiting us at http://www.griefincommon.com. It is free to join, and our site is filled with grievers to connect with. Please visit us today for the comfort, support and validation every one who has lost a loved one needs.

  8. Starting in 2004 I lost my father in law who I loved dearly, then my father(2005), then one of my best friends(2006), then my step father(2007), two weeks later, my mom(2007), then my brother (2010), then my sister in law (2014), my mother in law (2914), then the love of my life, my husband if 38 years in 2016. No children, my dogs were my babies and they (2) died in 2013, then the other in 2015. Ok, I guess you have the picture, partly. In between that “fun” I had breast cancer, mastectomy, problems with reconstruction, diagnosed with arthritis, and need 4 operations in order to feel somewhat human. Cannot move without pain, so sitting around, not doing anything but feeling pain and missing my husband like crazy. We always said, two people with one heart, now 1/2 of my heart is gone. Physically ripped out of me. I adopted a new little dog, he is so helpful but I am putting a lot of me in this little boy. I cry, talk to myself, my friends have all disappeared because they don’t understand I can’t go out easily due to my arthritis, to the activities invited to, after 2+ years, they have given up. Stopped calling. I have nothing to say to them, I really don’t care anymore. I feel helpless. I go to two therapists regularly and even they are perplexed. Medication is difficult because everything interacts badly with other meds…. I just am lost. After 2 1/2 years the only thing that keeps me going are the beautiful loving eyes of my dog, who is here for me. I just don’t know what to do. No one needs to respond. I just feel a tiny bit better writing it all out. First time I did this. And I forgot to say interspersed in between all of the above deaths, a few very close friends did also pass away. People I did care for very much. And the Attirneys, Wills, non-Wills, property, houses, etc. with arguments that weren’t necessary…. added in the mixture. Ok. I’m done. Thanks to anyone reading this. Back to watching the rain, listening to the thunder and thinking.

    1. I am so sorry for all of the loss you have endured. I too have experienced loss of far too many people recently FIL (2014), Dad (2014), MIL (2017), and my Mom (2018), my dog of 13 years (2019). I am in my early forties and am married to a man who is 8 years older. Reading your post really spoke to me because I worry about the exact thing you are describing as I have no human children but, furkids. Please know that you matter to that little dog, no matter what. I have no family left between death, or falling out over death of loved ones, and I get lonely too. My husband got transferred out of state for work and I’m still waiting for our house to sell. It’s been 3 months. I have been more depressed than ever it seems cuz my mom passed here in my house and I found her (she lived w me), so I have left her room alone since she passed April 2018. I now have to go through it, and I am having a hard time with it. I don’t know what I would do with out my fur babies. They keep me going

      1. Kelly and Lauren,

        Thank you for sharing your stories…I have no words of wisdom and I don’t mean to take away from your losses, but I wanted to share with you as well….A similar journey that mirrors a lot of the same feelings.

        My beloved sister died 7 years ago from cancer. She was 38 years old. 5 months later, my soulmate of a mom died suddenly of a heart attack. Five months later, my SIL died of cancer and then her husband committed suicide shortly thereafter. Add to this, I became the caregiver for my ailing father who flat out gave up after my mom died. He died 1.5 years after my mom.

        I am in my early 40s with a loving husband and one brother. I try to find gratitude each day but sometimes the pain of loss — so much, so close together — is insurmountable and I feel as though the future holds no hope. Does it get easier? Ever? I find myself pulling in and away from things. Joy is hard to come by and even though I have great friends, it’s a very lonely life. I feel on the outside looking in most days, almost like my soul is asleep.

        Great love means great loss. If I only knew that there was an end to the pain I think I could weather the storm better. I do yoga, travel, eating well, exercise, etc. I’ve tried therapy and medication— all help but are temporary moments of peace.

        I truly wish you both well and that you find some peace and healing.

  9. Lost both my parent’s, Mum was very sick for a long time , we still wasn’t prepared for it. Don’t think you ever are. Watching her suffer and wasting away like that was heartbreaking. Dad was taken from us suddenly, no warning, no nothing. Them leaving as left alot of unanswered questions, and a huge void in our lives. For me, the grief hasn’t gotten worse. The looks and sighs from family like “I should be over it by now” I feel I’m not the same person anymore, its totally life changing. I know I’ll never get over this.. the pain, heartache I feel is so overwhelming.. Can’t stop it! Been trying to overcome thus..but it’s engulfed me. Forgot what it’s like to smile..genuinely. sick of putting on a fake smile. Whilst inside I’m screaming

    1. I totally sympathise. The fake smile & fake being happy is tiring 🙁 so so tiring. Its been 3.5 years and I feel I get “worse” sometimes. Feel so lost. People all around you laughing & joking, you can join in but inside you are screaming for help. For a solution. For someone to make it all go away. So sorry you have lost both parents. I am lucky I still have my mum. What I had in 27 years with my dad some people don’t ever get in a lifetime. I try to look at it that way.

    2. I understand so much. I am an only child and I lost my Dad 37 years ago. I lost my Mom 26 years ago. I was going through a divorce when Mom was I’ll. I don’t have any children. I am grieving more now than I ever have and it was bad then. I dwell on my beautiful childhood and the memories that were so special. I am not sure how to cope anymore. People think that I should be fine. I know that I will feel empty forever. My heart goes out to anyone feeling this heartbroken.

  10. David my husband of 40 years died just over 12 weeks ago. I fell in love with him when I was 14. People keep telling me to start my life again. There is absolutely nothing that I want to do. David was my entire life. When he was in the funeral home at least I had something I could live for. To hold his cold cold hand, to touch his cold cold body. Now I have nothing. I know it will never go away. I cried for years because I was afraid to lose him and what Frightened me most in life has come to pass. There is some sick cruel monster out there. Does anyone agree?

    1. Hello Lesley. I lost my wife of 46 years to cancer on December 2017. We were just about to retire and enjoy life. People tell me the same as you. I need to make a new life for myself. Well, I don’t want a new life, as my old one was fine with my wife beside me, and now I just try and get through the days best I can.
      So yes, I totally agree with you that life is very cruel when someone you love with all your heart is taken from you.
      Thinking about you and the loss of your husband David.

      1. Thank you for your emails. A special thank you to Gordon. I am sorry to hear about your wife. I am sorry for anyone who reads these emails because you are all obviously in pain. The pain of the loss of your soulmate is indescribable to anyone who has not experienced it. My grandmother burned to death when I was three, my baby brother died with cancer, as did my dad when I was 14 and my mum 17 years ago. But nothing absolutely nothing compares to losing your soulmate. I swear I didn’t know what grief was till David my husband died 30 weeks ago tomorrow. He was all I had. My love, my life my everything. I tick the hours and days off my life now because I really don’t want to live without him. Best wishes to everyone. Lesley

        1. Lesley so sorry to know you are suffering grief. If only there were words to help. Your life has entered a new chapter, you are hurting for your David. Although he is not with you physically, he is with you in your heart always. Writing helped me cope in the darkest hours. Am not so religious but calling our for God to help in the middle of the night when in total despair seemed to have brought some relief from the anguish. You never get over it, but bit by bit you get respite when maybe something distracts you at first it might only be for few moments, as time goes on a few minutes and so on. Make a cup of tea and focus on the relief a hot drink brings for moments. Above all if you have a friend that is willing to listen to your own unique Lesley and David story over and over for whatever time it takes you might find it helps.

  11. I lost my dad 3.5 years ago and I really thought I coped well. He was my best friend, we certainly had a special relationship. He was my support, my confidence, my safety net. I was always told when It happened that I had to be strong for mum as she is not a strong person. I all of a sudden feel like a different person. I don’t like who I am. I don’t see friends, family the way I want. I have no money. I feel sad and down a lot and do not understand why. I did get into a relationship not even a year after my dad passed away and it has been really turbulent. Sometimes I just want to run away and hide. Then I feel horrible for wanting to do that. I feel my smile and happiness is forced 99.9% of the time. Its hard work. I don’t know how long I can go on like this. It is like there is a ticking bomb inside of me. I hate being this way but don’t know what to do. A lot of guilt is carried as I have always felt I should have asked for a second opinion in the hospital the night before my dad passed away. I knew he wasn’t right. (He passed quite suddenly) How do you get happy again??? Figure out what you need to do???

  12. This year I lost my dad, uncle, father-in-law, and grandmother. It was about eight months between my dad and father-in-law. When my father-in-law passed, all of a sudden the flood gates opened and I was grieving for my dad.
    Hospice folks told my family that grieving is different for everyone and no one goes through the “stages” the same way, or even in order most times.
    It’s good to know this is not unusual.
    At 34, this year has been the first time I’ve lost someone close to me. Everything hurts and though I remember having a cheerful outlook on life, right now things feel bleak and useless.
    Yes, I am going to counseling, but a bit frustrated that counselor is focusing on things that I don’t think are connected with the grieving.

  13. I grieved while he was alive…dying of stage 4 cancer. I’ve been fine since his death…until I realized that our house is still a mess. He was a hoarder…I am stuck in a rut of downsizing. It seems more overwhelming than ever. I can’t seem to move forward. It’s been almost 4 years and I don’t see any progress. So, I’m feeling (all of a sudden) that this might be some kind of depression.

  14. I grieved when he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer,went through all stages with him, he was my the light of my love. I loved him so much.. I lost my love 4 years ago. after I lost him I was in dperession couldnt go out but I had to go back to work .I had my friends,daughter thank God. Daytime I survived but all my nights were dark and dark and dark.I cried so much my face , my eyes were hollow..Irealized life was going on with everybody else ,I realized they were getting tired of listening to me …I decided to change put his pictures away,gave his belongings away. 4 months later I started dating someone.I was unhappy. Than I dated someone else.And now I have been dating someone for 3 years. He is selfish,depressed and has his own troubles and very self focused.Now he is away overseas. After he left I started seeing a psychologist. My baby was so cheerful, so strong, now thanks to my psychotherapist I realize the mistake Ihave done.. I expected someone else would make me forget my sorrow.. No one ever could..I was fooling myself.4 years later now I am crying for him…Grief has stages; then I was crying for myself, I was mad at him for dying and leaving me alone, I shouldn’t have surpassed the stage where I should be crying for our love and for him.

    I love him and will never forget him, no one ever can take his place.

    Please do not make the mistake I made.
    Cry and cry till you cant anymore and when people are tired of listening to you, go on with your mourning. Do not be afraid like I was. Grief is patient it will wait for you if you runaway or ignore..

    And you will never be truly yourself before acknowledging it.

    Bless you all and may all our beloved ones rest in peace till we are with them again.


  15. My wife Had a massive stroke at 39, and experimental brain surgery saved her life. That was 20 years ago… I have been her caregiver. My daughter then died in my arms of an overdose, my father died and my grandmother all within 10 months. Taught me a life lesson to hold my dying daughter in my arms and she tells me, Dad, it’s too late for me, help others.

  16. I lost my partner six years ago, it feels like yesterday
    I was the one to say stop trying to resuscitate.my heart sank. The night before he told his friend that he had asked me to marry him but i wouldn’t.fact is he never asked me. The day after he died I visited my mum in the nursing home…she was very poorly
    She wanted to know how my “lovely man” as she called him was doing not wanting to upset her I said that he was still poorly. I sat by her bed for several days singing her old favourite songs. She passed away nine days after my partner and their funerals were really close together Friday and following Monday……..

  17. I feel your pain Peggy, I lost my mom three years ago and I too feel so lost and lonely. I feel like a part of me died too. I know I’ll never be my old happy self.

  18. I am 13 years old. My cousin died almost two years ago. I am dealing with bullies and the grief on top of it. It has seemly gotten worse and I sometimes feel alone and that the feeling won’t go away.

  19. I lost my wife on May 11, 2018 after a second round with cancer. I had no idea how difficult getting through it would turn out to be. Now, ten months after her death, I am only really beginning to grieve over her. It is unbelievable how intense the suffering has become this week. It bears no resemblance to losing a girlfriend when I was young and single. The pain from that was often immediately intense but faded with time. The pain and emptiness resulting from this delayed grief becomes more intense with the passage of time. It is like nothing that I have ever been through. I am dealing with this in addition to the stress of working and paying bills and raising a teenage daughter alone. I will have to continue working for more than another two years before retirement. After that, I do not know what I am in for.

  20. 746 Days 17 Hours 0 Minutes 4 Seconds.
    That is when I lost my amazing only Son. My fake smiles, my attempts to move through this world is like swimming slow motion in a freezing rapid river. I know others hurt too. I am not the same women I was before he died. I can’t be, I don’t want to be. But I want to be the women he believed me to be. Strong, unshakable, loving, sweet, smart, kind. I don’t know who I am right now. I only know that there is a gigantic hole in my soul. The more that times moves forward the harder it’s becoming. Maybe it’s more real and I can’t exists in denial for much longer. I hear all your stories of loss and I feel such sympathy and empathy. So at least there is that. Sending hugs

  21. Four years since I lost my son and it feels worse not better I only go shopping but don’t want to travel anywere my husbund says Daniel wouldn’t want you to feel like this but the anxiety I feel overwhelms me how can I ever live again I don’t know

  22. My wonderful husband was 54 when he passed last year after a long illness, just short of our 30th wedding anniversary. “Delayed grief was just brought to my attention and I believe I have been dealing with it and it’s been difficult. Constantly keeping busy and staying strong to show everyone I’m ok. That part is getting tougher. He was my love and my life!

  23. I recently lost my husband a month after our first child was born. He was only 34. I miss him so much and the grief is getting stronger 🙁

  24. Personally I think you left out the hardest grief to get through, the loss of child. No parent should ever bury their child. All your dreams, all your expectations, all your love dies with that child. Depending on the child’s age, the will never see their own children grow up, they will never graduate, never marry, etc.

  25. I lost my mom to ALS and we were extremely close. I stayed strong for my dad because he needed me to. Six months to the day after losing my mom, we lost my father in law. I again had to be the strong one for my husband and kids. Less than 2 years later I lost my sweet amazing son. He was my mini me. He looked like my husband but he had my personality, temper and all my behaviours. He could look at me and know instantly if I needed a hug. I again needed to be the strong one in the family for my husband and daughter. My daughter especially as he passed 3 days before her birthday and 8 months before her wedding. I still don’t think I have allowed myself to fully grieve. I can’t cry or mention my sons name in front of my husband or daughter because they get upset. I like to remember him and talk about him. It hurts me to go to my daughters or mother in laws and they have removed all pictures of my son. He existed and mattered and it seems like they are trying to make him disappear. I know everyone grieves differently but I need to remember him and talk about him.

  26. I lost my mum back in 1994 a year after an argument where I told her to ‘f’ off and die, as she had told me she was dying, however, her doctor said it was nonsense. I was angry, they were my last ever words to her. Roll on to October 2015, my dad passed after battling parkinsons. He was my best friend. 4 months later I had a call from my sisters boyfriend to say she was in hospital with pneu5. She died. I started grieving my dad, but when my sister passed I went totally numb. I still feel utter emptiness after 3.5 years, have no interest in friends. I care for my four children and partner, but she gets so angry when I tell her I feel alone. The feelings are far worse recently. I feel alone beyond belief, even though i have my immediate family. I want nothing to do with anyone. 3.5 years later, is this normal? I look at every situation these days as ‘who cares’. I’m in pain. No day goes by when i don’t ask why? My partner is not too compassionate which is not her fault as she still has her parents and siblings. However i feel alone.

  27. I have been in therapy for 25 years, that is since my beloved husband got sick, suffered beyond anything I have ever experienced, and died. I was 38, he was 43 and we had two children, 10 and 12 years old. After ALL these years, 2 more marriages that I left, and distraught young children that STILL suffer today, I wondered why I have not felt ‘settled’ in my life. 5 moves in 20 years. I have had a realization lately, now that the kids are in their mid 30’s that I never fully grieved. And nobody in my family or friends truly understands. Not even my children. And they have many problems in their lives. I did not have time to really focus on my own grief very much. I was “in the zone” to keep my children safe, healthy and get them through school. I had not worked in 13 plus years as I stayed home with them. We have had a lot of disfunction. My daughter is full of anger to extreme. My son is an addict, opioids, and struggles and struggles. I continue to get help and pray for strength, for ALL of us. I hope at some point for peace. It is true. Time heals NOTHING…And sometimes, not feeling is the only way to survive. And I was not fully aware that I was NOT making the progress that I thought. Until now. God help me…..

    1. I understand . I lost my dad at 11. He was 38. I am 48 now. I love my mum. She has Parkinson’s. My brother has bee. So screwed up since my dads death with drugs and alcohol. My mum and brother are estranged and talk through me. I’ve never got over grief although have always tried to be strong for my mum. I am lost and hurt in private. I never let it show unless I am drunk and then the pain is huge. It has messed up my relationships. I have no children and have anxiety. I need to speak to someone who understands and doesn’t know me.

  28. I lost my husband of 30 years in January, 2017. Since then, I went through the courts to get the inheritance he left for me, then continued to hold down a demanding job in a much disliked urban area until May, 2019, when I decided to retire and move to Vermont. I “roughed it” in an unelectrified cabin in the woods while I looked for a house. I found one and bought it in late August, had some repairs made, then moved in. When all the ‘hub bub’ died down I found myself weak and sick – and missing my husband terribly. My breaking point came a few days ago when I was looking for a recording of Chopin’s nocturnes – then realized that in the triage of the move out of the City – I threw all the records and CD’s that my husband gave me away! How could I have been so heartless? How could I have discarded these beautiful works and all the tenderness and love with which these recordings were given to me. I write this evening because I’m not the only one with a sudden flare up of renewed grief. His older sister called me, blaming herself for “not being there for him” when he was dying. She was undergoing cancer treatments and could not make it to his funeral. I love my sister-in-law dearly. I want so badly for her to find peace and healing. I’m recovering from grief and illness because I believe God is real and loves me. I’ve had a dream where God took Chopin’s form and walked besides me, asking me not to be sad. I believe God can show up in dreams and appear in ways we can understand. As part Native American, I believe in the power of dreams. Anyhow, since that dream, I’ve been feeling better and not so alone, and find it easier to pray with gratitude and love. I want this same peace for my sister-in-law. I’ve been praying for her. Is there anything I can do to make that happen for her? To make her feel better?

  29. I lost my Mom 3 1/2 years ago. She was my best friend. Just 6 weeks later my older brother died suddenly in his sleep. I have felt that I had been coping as well as I could these past years. But, I have noticed that suddenly over the past few months I feel that my feelings of grief are resurfacing. I am again feeling very intense feelings of loss. I am finding it difficult to listen to music (which I normally love) it just makes me feel so sad and lost. Thinking of the past and all that is lost. I am just so shocked that after 3 !/2 years of doing well that all of this has shown its ugly head again. I know that it will pass but it sure is difficult.
    Thanks for listening, it does help.

  30. I am 48, I lost my dad suddenly when I was 11, he was 38. My family fell apart. I love my mum so much and am petrified of losing her and she now has Parkinson’s. I try to stay sting but my grief of pain and losing people is never far away. Sometimes it is so overwhelming I want to die first. My emotions surface when I am drunk or vulnerable. That have never disapAited over the years.,why do I feel this way and will I ever get over it?

  31. Ian died 29 December, pneumonia finished him off after mouth cancer. No will and other things but got through it. Now all of a sudden third anniversary, just seems like things are getting to me and I think what’s wrong. Even got to the stage of ringing Samaritans, but all they do is let you waffle on don’t actually offer any practical advice. Sorry for being a pain, don’t usually go on like this, but getting to stage when don’t know what to do.

  32. Great loss marks a great love. I sometimes wish I hadn’t loved so much. Dramatic, I know, and no, I don’t mean it. But, sometimes…

    My sister died 7 years ago at age 38 to cancer. 5 months later, my mom dropped dead from a heart attack. Immediately, my brother and I assumed caregiving responsibilities for my father who had mobility issues and zero desire to live (understandably). 5 months later my sister in law died; 4 months later her husband committed suicide. 1.5 years after my mom died, my father passed away. From 2012-2014, we lost 5 members of my family.

    I have really good periods—they almost lull me into thinking I’m on the other side of grief. But then, I wake up, and for no reason, grief is back, sitting in my chest, making me turn into a zombie as I pull inside myself to cope. I’ve been to therapy, done yoga, traveled, tried medications, become more engaged in social stuff, gone off the grid for personal reflection, prayed, not prayed. I feel so empty. Apathetic, most of the time. Right now? I’m dealing with anger that rises from my toes. I’ve never been an angry person but I’m quick-tempered these days and not so quick to laugh like I used to.

    I often wonder if I have delayed grief. Whatever it’s label, I just want to grab hold of some shred of hope that I will reach a peace that enables me to find joy again. I’m a shell of myself and it’s not fair to my husband that I cannot seem to get better. He’s been an incredible support but I carry guilt that I can’t get past this mountain of grief.

    Will I ever?

  33. 2015:
    I unexpectedly lost my boyfriend to a car accident. I was in college (20 years old) at the time. Living across the country. I flew home to be with my family when he was admitted to the hospital. His mom didn’t want me to see him in the condition he was in so I didn’t see him before he died.

    He was taken off life support in the middle of the AM on August 13th. I cried a lot. Then, a couple days later, spoke at his memorial service, and couple days after that I flew back to finish up where I’d left off in college. Taking 25 units per semester (15 units=full time student). I graduated college a year early, had minor swells of sadness throughout, and promptly began my post-college career. I kept very busy and didn’t feel anything more than manageable sadness every now and again.

    Mostly, I was happy. I felt normal.

    Justin’s death felt like it should’ve been life altering, but somehow, it wasn’t. It was strange. But I just assumed I had gotten it all over with and was “so well adjusted” that I was capable of this speedy recovery.

    I am feeling incredible. On top of the world with my self confidence, career trajectory, and relationships. I am light, fun, happy, and charging full speed ahead.

    I start dating an incredible guy in June (he reminds me of Justin quite a bit). We fall madly in love, very quickly, and decide to move in together …very quickly.

    Around Justin’s 2 year death anniversary (August 2014), things start to get strange. I start having these episodes of total panic and confusion. Full body and mind experiences. Feeling off the ground. Like I am untethered. Out of control. It’s terrifying and I don’t know why it’s happening. I cry, call my parents. Nobody is worried about me because I always “have it together” and “barrel through”. But this is different. I feel insane. Like I’m on some nightmarish LSD trip.

    These symptoms continue sporadically throughout my new, exciting, very fast relationship. And they worsen over time. I continue to have panic attacks, episodes of extreme anger, intense sorrow, wild euphoria, confusion, disassociation, numbness, contentment, exhaustion… name any sort of intense emotion and I probably experienced it, along with 10 others, before lunch time, every day. I was all over the place and I had ~no idea~ why.

    My partner at the time was Mr. Fix-It. He had all the answers and assumed that what I was experiencing was a spiritual awakening. He lent me books that broke down the nuances of the ego, and would tell me things like “you aren’t grateful enough” or “you’re not on your path” or “you’re not living true to your authentic self”. I loved him. I trusted him. I was afraid. So I took it all in and over time began to think there was something deeply wrong with my very existence. I was completely and utterly confused and in astounding pain. Not eating. Smoking cigarettes. Drinking more than I’m willing to admit. Considered suicide regularly (but thankfully not seriously).

    There were moments alone where I was able to catch my breath and experience joy. Moments spent with friends that made me feel normal again.

    Eventually I grew to revere and, in many ways, fear my partner. I viewed him as an all knowing, spiritual guide or guru. My self-worth, self-trust, self-confidence, really any sense of self, had been tanked. His career took off and he was offered a job outside the country. He took it, and while he was away I could hear myself screaming inside. “GET OUT”. I broke up with him.

    I was still deeply lost. I move in with friends and start to rebuild. It’s hard. I feel crazy. I think “bi-polar?” but that does’t track. I still have NO CLUE what went wrong. Why this happened. What is WRONG WITH ME.

    I keep trucking along and find tools to cope with anxiety, depression, disassociation, and all the various uncontrolled states I was finding myself in.

    It’s been four years and some change, since Justin’s death.

    Generally speaking, I am well. I have a healthy diet. I exercise. My career is better than it has ever been. I am seeing a man (we are taking it slow) who is loving, careful, kind, receptive, and balanced.

    Only now am I beginning to realize, and slowly accept, that what I have been experiencing…
    is grief.

    I still feel disconnected from life at times, off the earth at times, frustrated, pissed, numb, sad, empty, lonely, frightened at times.

    The feelings aren’t as frantic or unexpected, and now more than ever, I know what they’re asking for.

    I can’t believe it took me this long, and that I was so diluted into thinking it was something that was fundamentally wrong with me. I wrestle with guilt a lot.

    I want to heal. I want to let go. Everything feels like it happened just a short year, sometimes even a month ago. Justin’s death. The manipulative relationship following.

    Anyone else?

  34. Belle, I’m so sorry for You!
    In my experience, the grief hits hardest after moments of more easy time. Yeasterday I was having a time with friends and I think that after aĺmost four months after my dads passing I could find myself for the first time engage in conversations that didn’t involve grief. The morning after this evening I felt extremely low. Sometimes I feel so bad that I am seriously thinking of mental institution.

  35. It’s been 3 years since my husband of 33 years passed away from a 5 year battle with cancer. My grief has been difficult and continual for 3 years. We had a great marriage and my grief was always about that. But now, I am starting to dwell on and grieve about all the times he was mean to me during our marriage.It has been paralyzing at times and hard to face . . . My therapist says it is a normal part of the process and it has taken 3 years to finally be able to start facing it. She is helping me start dealing with this phase of grief and I am so thankful for her.

  36. i was diagnosed of parkinson disease 5 years ago,i started azilect then mirapex as the disease progressed in frebuary last year,and i started on parkinson disease herbal treatment from Ultimate Life Clinic,few months into the treatment i made a significant recovery,almost all my symptoms are gone,great improvement with my movement and belance,it been a year and life has been so good for me,contact them through there website http://www.ultimatelifeclinic.com

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