7 Common Myths About Grief That Prolong the Pain

Grief

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

—Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Everyone comes face to face with grief at some point in their lifetime. Grief and loss can be overwhelming, leaving you with a range of emotions—sorrow, loneliness, helplessness, anger, guilt, numbness, emptiness, or all of the above. Suffering a loss can also cause physical symptoms, such as nausea or digestive issues, sleeplessness, headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, and chest pain. It’s also associated with anxiety, depression, and memory loss.

In most cases after a loss, feelings of grief eventually subside, but for some people, they linger and make it difficult to get on with your life. Mental health professionals call this “complicated grief” or “prolonged grief,” and it can prevent you from getting back to work, taking care of your home, or maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends.

In most cases after a loss, feelings of grief eventually subside, but for some people they linger and make it difficult to get on with your life. Mental health professionals call this “complicated grief” or “prolonged grief.” Click To Tweet

In cases of complicated grief, you may be following everyday advice in an effort to cope with your feelings. What you may not realize is that many commonly held beliefs about the grieving process could actually be intensifying your pain and making it last longer than necessary. It can leave you wondering if the grieving will ever end.

IS THERE A GRIEF TIMELINE?

There are no hard and fast rules regarding a grief timeline, and everybody grieves at their own pace. Some people feel like they’re drowning in sorrow and pain for months, years, or even decades after a loss. Others cope more quickly. Anything that reminds you of the loss—a place, a song, a routine (making coffee in the morning)—can dredge up painful feelings. Special occasions, such as birthdays, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day, can be especially trying.

We asked Amen Clinics patients to describe what grief feels like and how long the process took. You may relate to what they said.

I was married for 35 years and my wife died in a bicycle accident. Six months later, I was able to work and take care of the dogs, but the hole in my heart hurt the most when I went to bed alone at night. I would wake up crying in the mornings. One of my friends told me to ‘just move on.’ (This is an example of one of the worst things to say to a grieving person.)

I lost my teenage daughter almost 20 years ago, and the grief is still palpable. At first, it felt like a tsunami that would smother me, but as the years went by, it became more like a rhythmic wave. Every once in a while, though, a rogue wave comes out of nowhere, and I’m completely overwhelmed again.

My dad died 5 years ago, and I keep thinking it’s supposed to get easier as time goes by. But that’s not the case. As my two young sons grow up, I miss him even more because I wish he were here as a role model for my boys.

I thought I was coping pretty well after losing my best friend (we had been friends since we were in junior high) to cancer a year ago. But I heard a song she loved the other day on the radio, and the wounds opened up and felt raw again. I had to pull the car over and cry on the side of the road. I was a wreck the rest of the day.

I feel embarrassed to tell people this, but I’m still grieving the loss of my dog. I had to put him down 2 years ago, and my heart is still shattered. He was my constant companion, and he provided unconditional love. I was so bonded to my furbaby. When I try to explain it to people, they say, “Oh, you can just get another dog.” No, I can’t just replace him. He was special to me.

My wife died by suicide, and I have been wracked by guilt ever since, thinking there must have been something I could have done to prevent it. 

7 COMMON MYTHS THAT PROLONG GRIEF

In working with our patients at Amen Clinics, we have found that there are several commonly held beliefs about grief that actually prolong the process and make it more painful.

1. Wait to start the healing process.

People often say you should wait to heal from grief, but this prolongs the process. If you fell and broke your arm, when would you want to start healing? Immediately! This doesn’t mean healing will be quick—it rarely is—but it’s important to start the process.

2. Accepting the loss is the final stage of grief.

Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross wrote about the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Waiting to go through these stages to arrive at acceptance will extend your grief. It is better to turn the 5 stages upside down—admit your loss, find peace, stop bargaining for something that will not change, reengage with others to avoid depression, and refuse to accept prolonged pain as a given.

3. It’s normal that you can’t sleep, so don’t try to fix it.

Grief often steals sleep. Insomnia decreases blood flow to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the front part of the brain. The PFC sends signals to quiet or calm your emotional brain; when it is weak, your emotions can get the best of you, and it is harder to make good decisions throughout the day. A healthier approach is to try a combination of melatonin (1 mg), vitamin B6 (10 mg), magnesium (100 mg), GABA (300 mg), 5-HTP (50 mg), and theanine (100 mg) to help promote grief-related sleep.

4. Avoid thinking about what happened.

In one study, bereaved people who had lost someone to accidental death or homicide wrote for 15 minutes a day for 4 days. One group wrote about the loss; the other was asked to write about something trivial. Afterward, those who had written about the loss reported less anxiety and depression and greater grief recovery than those who had written about trivialities. Spend 15 minutes a day for 4 days getting the story out, making sure to list both the positives (“He is no longer suffering”) and the negatives (“I miss him so much it hurts”) of the situation to promote healthy grieving.

5. Focus only on the good things.

Too often, when people had a complicated relationship with someone who passes, they try to remember only the good times and completely ignore the bad ones. Remembering an unbalanced situation prolongs grief. Instead, remember the positive and make peace with the rest.

6. Keep your chin up and stifle your tears.

Holding back from crying in an effort to appear resilient isn’t helpful. When we bottle our feelings and refuse to cry, our emotional brain becomes inflamed. After someone has died, it is healthy to let the tears flow freely.

7. Expect to get over the loss quickly.

If you believe the grieving process should be quick and painless, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment, frustration, and unresolved issues. Be patient. Grief is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself as you work through the hard times and be patient with others too.

Prolonged or complicated grief, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.

50 Comments

  1. Thank you!

    Comment by JOY Speights — April 30, 2021 @ 3:38 AM

  2. several years ago, I lost my dog Bucky. I had to put him down to cancer. We both had cancer at the same time. Only I survived. It was heartbreaking. He slept by my bed every night. To ease the loss, I had him cremated, and his urn sits on my dresser, in that way, I feel like he is still with me, when it is my turn to go, he is to be buried with me. I morn his loss everyday. He was my buddy. Since I worked away from home, he came with me many times. although its been many years, I still cry for him, I miss him so much.

    Comment by deborah-ann — April 30, 2021 @ 3:41 AM

  3. This was a good read on grief. I lost my husband suddenly 14 years ago a widow at 40 years old. And yes time dose not heal it subsides you learn as you go!!! Everything thing said in this article is Right on. My experience is like you loose control of your heart head and soul it all just hurts, it’s like you have to grab and hold on to it comfort it fix it soothe you eventually get your control back. Then you take baby steps to get to the new place in your life.

    Comment by Patricia Williams — April 30, 2021 @ 4:16 AM

  4. I’ve not been the same since my husband died of NHL B cell and it will be 11 years ago this May. I have found strength and hope reading your blogs. I practice all of what is suggested and greatly appreciate the kind service of this free information. Thank you ever so much. Angela

    Comment by Angela — April 30, 2021 @ 4:37 AM

  5. How long to grieve loss of mother or child?

    Comment by Vince Vanderleest — April 30, 2021 @ 4:40 AM

  6. I lost a lot of family members and friends in a short time span. Now I fear losing anyone and feel like I don’t grieve like most people do. My dog (service/therapy) is getting old & I’m already dreading that day before its happened. The only thing I find comfort in is that I try to give him the best life possible while he’s here so I won’t have regrets when the say comes.

    Comment by Kenneth — April 30, 2021 @ 4:59 AM

  7. My father passed away December 24 2020. I miss him and going thru the grieving process, but it is hard. This info was very helpful to me. Thank you

    Comment by RuthParks — April 30, 2021 @ 5:02 AM

  8. Articles always only seem to assume that there has to have been a physical death to grieve. I have lost my only son, who I brought up on my own , due to his emigrating to another country a few years ago. There was a degree of deceit involved, as I was led to believe it was only a 2yr job exchange, & I was only told over the phone & very gruffly indeed, that he wasn’t coming back, some 16 months later. It has completely destroyed me. And when he came over supposedly to try & help me when I had a mental breakdown in 2019, he initially was nice, but quickly changed & treated me appallingly & was very intimidating behind closed doors. I know he has the right to live wherever he wants to, but I am grieving the actual loss of him in my life as all was relatively well beforehand & I lived for his visits. I am not just grieving the loss of him, but also the lack of my previously happy life, I am grieving for my own hoped for happy future. Grief comes in many forms, & I am just not functioning any more. My life seems now, utterly pointless. It is like he died, & I just feel I have nowhere left to go because he doesn’t communicate much or share things with me. I feel unloved, unwanted, broken, & completely lost in life now. I don’t know which way to turn, am elderly, disabled, & feel forsaken. It is almost worse than losing someone who has actually died. There is no closure & no hope, yet I know he’s still out there & is happy, getting on with his new life. I don’t know how to do that any more. My grief is endless, & I cannot even get him out of my mind, which makes everything SO much worse…….. It’s like I die a little more with every passing day. Beware of loving someone too much………

    Comment by Lyn Bowler — April 30, 2021 @ 6:17 AM

  9. I agree with every word written above. It took me years to grief about my fathers death. He was suffering from schizzophrenic psychosis his intire live. Mainly untreated, till I, around my 19th birthday, took responsibility. Many decades I was his “dad”. This was a burden. I understood very late the prize I paid. He died in dignity when my second child was just born. It took me more then 10 years to feel grief. I never visited his grave. I hurried and paid, but I never felt the need. Then, ten years later, grief took me. It started with a sad love song, about someone “far away” And after grieve came love to my dad.
    So I prooved, that I can take years to START to grieve.
    And grief is relief (in the long run).
    Every tear is just a form of love.
    Thank you Dr. Amen and your team for the wonderful work you are doing, I deeply respect it from Germany, and hope to meet you one day.
    I wish good grief to everyone, who suffered a loss. May you all find your peace and love. Michael Heinrichs

    Comment by Michael Heinrichs — April 30, 2021 @ 7:09 AM

  10. I agree with the quote from Rose F Kennedy, about time not healing all wounds. I write and share this on my platforms . After experiencing 16 years of abuse, from childhood, I internally chided myself, became inpatient and perplexed as I thought TIME should heal the wounds of broken trust and a damaged spirit, it took sometime to realise that while time is indeed a important ingredient , process and co-operating with the process is important. I had to identify and accept it was a journey of healing, psychologically, spiritually and physically. It’s ok not to feel ok, while still helping others.

    Comment by Ibironke — April 30, 2021 @ 7:13 AM

  11. I am grieving my favorite person in the world my Dad who died a year ago suddenly due to possibly Covid 19 related issues.The worst of it is it tore my family apart. I wasn’t made aware that he wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t contacted when ambulance was called. I found out 7 hrs later after my sister got the message from the ER doctor at 2:15m we live on the same block.She had my niece notifying me that morning Good Friday cause we were not on speaking terms. I had called the ER of the hospital that my mom informed me that he was transported to that night only to find out he went to another,approximately the same time he died I felt a disconnected sense of doom once I heard he is in a hospital that was always busy even on a good day . Thank you for listening.

    Comment by Maude Carolle Desilus — April 30, 2021 @ 7:25 AM

  12. My husband died at 89 and we had 42 years of marriage. My brain won’t stop in the sleep period. I feel balanced but overwhelmed with all the “business of death” during my awake hours. I got Retinal Eye Occlusion shortly after he passed. My stress was extreme during his last 6 months. Rationally it was his time to pass but emotionally I’m struggling. I am 73.

    Comment by Mary C Hyde — April 30, 2021 @ 7:59 AM

  13. Thank you for this article. It is very insightful.
    I am grieving the loss of my mother who I cared for prior to her passing.
    It took a toll on my well being and I am trying to be patient and kind to myself as I continue on this journey.

    Comment by Karen Wheeler — April 30, 2021 @ 8:22 AM

  14. Thank you for the reassurance that the grief I am processing is on track…for me. 99% of the people I interact with do not understand therefore I hide it from everyone. It simply seems easier that way. I am hoping one day I will be able to reap the benefits of an in-clinic appointment. In the meantime, thank you for the daily articles and great information.

    Comment by Deborah Williamson — April 30, 2021 @ 8:46 AM

  15. After four years of losing my husband to dementia, I am still haunted by him dying in our bed I still sleep in every night. Plus after 32 years of marriage with VA housing benefits, I did not receive those benefits because he did not die with a “service-related” illness. Now I am renting places with others who have annoying habits. I will get a grant to buy another condo next year, but in AZ sellers’ market boom who knows if I will find a place in my budget. Memories of my husband are all around, and I cannot escape thinking of him everyday. Our life together was filled with travel and adventures I cannot duplicate – ever.

    Comment by Ferris S. Whitfield — April 30, 2021 @ 9:25 AM

  16. Why is Amen Clinics commenting on grief? Is’nt it a psychological process. If I were stuck in grief I would contact a counselor or psychologist not Amen Clinic.

    Comment by SHEILA KIRBY — April 30, 2021 @ 10:04 AM

  17. I lost someone I love because he simply chose addiction and that lifestyle over us. It hurts every single day, the hole in my heart is big. Reminders are everywhere, especially songs. Can’t listen. I know it takes time and I appreciate this article.

    Comment by Jay — April 30, 2021 @ 10:16 AM

  18. We lost our son 13 months ago due to drug OD. Although it’s getting better, the loss has been brutal. This article hits all the high points we have gone through during these months. That, along with CoVid isolation made it even more difficult. Glad to see Amen Clinics touch on this subject! Am thankful I am able to be treated for my anxiety/depression by Amen Clinics!

    Comment by Pat Repasi — April 30, 2021 @ 10:37 AM

  19. Thank you for sending this out!! You can’t imagine how validating this was I have been in the process of divorce for three years. I learned I was married to a covet narcissist ( I had no background knowledge on this mental health issue) for 23 years. He lost jobs constantly. I was a supportive loving partner until I started discovering gaps in his relaying his Quandre to others. When I started making him accountable for the truth is when the shit hit the fan! On top of having to relocate with my two sons and my business after losing our home, our car he continued to stock and create chaos. On top of that normal life Happened and several losses. My father passed away, our dog passed away financial pressures etc. I have tried to be proactive with counseling and taking care of myself knowing that I can be only the best for me and my boys if I take care of myself. The constant memory loss was plaguing. But I know and understand so much more through your article thank you so very much!

    Comment by Margie — April 30, 2021 @ 11:06 AM

  20. I am 72. My husband of 44 years died suddenly and completely unexpectedly of a heart attack almost 9 months ago, right in front of me. I thought “grief” meant re-living the trauma of seeing him draw his last breath, over and over again. But that is not grief, as my new therapist tells me. It is PTSD flashbacks. I am now in counseling using EMDR which quenches the shock of the memories but still allows me to normally grieve. And believe me, “normal grief” is no picnic either, but the shock of those flashbacks has abated, even if the memory has not. And remember that even though you might think you are not experiencing trauma, let a trauma therapist evaluate your story. I am so glad that I found her and didn’t have to endure months and months of shocking memories.

    Comment by Madelyn Lenard — April 30, 2021 @ 11:24 AM

  21. My friend’s daughter died in a fire-it was said she was locked in her home, from the outside, that she was renting. Her dog died with her in the fire. The investigation was very poor and slow and without resolution for this mother-they are Alaska native so this isn’t an unusual situation. My concern is how to help this friend-her daughter is gone and she doesn’t have an answer or any help in finding an answer. What can I do to try to help my friend? Thank you for any suggestions you may have. I have to say I’ve been a fan of yours for years and find the work that you do as very helpful and a comfort many times. Thank you for all that you do. Best blessings to you and family. Audrey

    Comment by Audrey Sunnyboy — April 30, 2021 @ 11:43 AM

  22. I lost my brother I was very bonded with 4 years ago just before his 51st birthday. He had Fronto Temporal Dementia /Behavioral Variant and we went through 7 yrs of the end of this terrible disease together as a family. I was able to be a part of his weekly, hands on care. It was and continues to be very difficult not only because we have shared a special bond since childhood but watching the trauma this disease caused my brother and our family was brutal. That entire time we were taking care of my brother my family was also pooling our time to care-give for our elderly parents and I still do that 5 days a week full time. My dad has dementia now and sometimes I have flashbacks of taking care of my brother while taking care of him. I know there are those that are expecting me to “be over it” by now. There were and are still days I wonder if I am ever going to feel normal again; I’m having to discover what normal even is for me now since in many ways I’m not even the same person after going through all this.. COVID has made it even more difficult to return to life as usual as I’m more restricted trying to reduce possible exposure to my parents. After losing a stillborn infant years ago I learned to go through grief at my own pace and to let the grief come when it wells up and let it go when it’s gone so I can still enjoy what there is in life to enjoy. I have more good days than bad ones now but those blue days can still be very painful and raw. Being thankful and taking daily supplements to help combat the stress grief brings have and continue to help me through all these life events.

    Comment by Cassie — April 30, 2021 @ 1:18 PM

  23. My mom died about five years ago and dad died about four years ago. Both of them died of old age. I am still grieving, but I do focusing on the good memories of them and I talk a lot about what they used to do with me. I am 54 years old and I still cried for them every once in a while..

    Comment by Madtoe — April 30, 2021 @ 1:32 PM

  24. I appreciate the article and my friend Susan for linking it. My wife died in November of 2020, (after we’d both voted-that was important to us). She was a fine hippie all her life, a radical feminist, worked in male-dominated professions and was a fabulous wimmin-loving person. I love her. We were together twenty-six years, married in November, 2014. Her family and friends hold me together, whether they know it or not. She wanted her ashes outdoors, so I released them high up in Unaweep canyon. I miss her, but I’m feeling everything that comes. Doing major stuff without her is stunning to imagine. Thanks.

    Comment by Christina Hoagland — April 30, 2021 @ 1:39 PM

  25. I’m pretty sure I will grieve my son’s death for the rest of my life. I am functional most of the time, but my life has changed in so many difficult ways since his passing. The manner & situation surrounding his death was traumatic. Those who contributed to it have walked away relatively unscathed, so there is anger as well.

    Comment by Micki — April 30, 2021 @ 2:03 PM

  26. My husband of 55 years recently had to move into a memory care facility. In dealing with my grief, I found a grief share group through a local church. Regardless of the different types of losses and circumstances, the process of grief is lightened when you can share it with others. I’m glad I was brave enough to reach out for help. I also saw my doctor for help with sleep issues and anxiety.

    Comment by Jerilyn Tyner — April 30, 2021 @ 6:43 PM

  27. Thank you for a simple but profound article

    Comment by Stephanie — May 1, 2021 @ 4:21 AM

  28. This is a great article, and these are excellent words and comments . Nothing however really prepares a person for death of a loved one, but this article helps to understand that others have been there, and have moved on and by their experiences and these tools in article helps people understand and perhaps what they may expect and experience, and “it’s okay to grieve, and grief is a God given gift ,of expression “Jesus wept.” . I would like to see however something more one the sequential deaths of loved ones. I had three deaths in my family in three years, not counting my uncle two months after my father passed, nor a mass shooting in my city office complex by a poor man who was obviously very hurt inside his heart he killed 12-14 people.As our nation for now, see these incidents, we need to prepare the human hearts and minds for how to heal our wounds through this. One death is enough, but only God himself could get me through the past 5 years. He is so good. Thank you for all you do on here,

    Comment by Rhonda Montrose — May 1, 2021 @ 4:43 AM

  29. Thank you! I’m a very strong willed person(stubborn). I rarely ask for any kind of help. Reading this has helped me better understand what I felt like was weakness. It isn’t, I know that, but I felt like I should be able to HANDLE this and live on. I lost my Mom 5 months ago, quite unexpectedly and she didn’t want a funeral or memorial, so for the family, there was no closer. I feel like she’s still here and that not saying good bye, she’s still with me. I’m planning a memorial for ALL of us to say our good byes in a very special way. Thank you again!!

    Comment by Andrew Hill — May 1, 2021 @ 4:53 AM

  30. It was interesting to me to read the many comments. Five and one-half years ago my husband died. We had been married 50 years and enjoyed many adventures together, but after a couple of heart attacks and a stroke, it was time to go. He said many times that there are other worlds that we aren’t aware of. We both believed that there is more to life than what we experience on this Earth. Waves of grief almost wipe me out, even now but I have learned to be realistic and to cope with my life as it is right now. It I not an easy road to travel!

    Comment by Elizabeth S. Overstreet — May 1, 2021 @ 5:35 AM

  31. Ditto on how im feeling and just couldn’t put it into words. Thank you Lyn Bower April 30. You hit the nail on the head.

    Comment by Kim Mallory — May 1, 2021 @ 5:50 AM

  32. I lost my granddaughter last year to a car accident she was 22 years old . My heart is broken to pieces. Each day is a struggle, I miss her so much .But my faith in God is helping me holding on until we meet again

    Comment by Francine Jackson — May 1, 2021 @ 6:05 AM

  33. I was with the same person for 22 years then last March 2020 he just decided to walkout of my life via a text. he is 10 years younger than me . We didnt live together but were together all the time. Then in 2018 my adult son had to move in withme due to severe depression and a divorce. my focus was on him and it was at times very stressful to see him suffering. MY finances suffered too . OUr relationship had its ups and downs over the years but still thought we would grow old together and when things settled down we would do all the things we planned for when he retired . in Feb we celebrated 22 years he loved me and then the next month he wants to “move on” and he was better off . I was /am heart broken . Imiss the company the family our friends and the simple things we did together. He has never told his family or friends why he did what he did or the way he did it. Its so painful to think i waas with a person for 22 years and they could care less about me.
    I heard he was seeing someone a the month after whichfeelslike a knife in my heart.
    This article makes lots of sense especially Rose Kennedys words. I am seeing a therapist and trying very hard to get past this but at 70 years old its very difficult. I cant even drive pasthis house without feeling nauseous. He has proven to be a person i dont even know .

    Comment by vicki Wilson — May 1, 2021 @ 7:03 AM

  34. I lost my mother this month and my regret is I could not get her to amen clinic in atlanta for a scan and she suffered and wasted away of neglect and sepsis at the nursing home and I couldn’t get anything done for her. she broke her left hip and shoulder after the doors at my brother’s nursing home struck her and then after coming home developed blood clots in both legs and they sent her back to the rehab/nursing home where they let her fall and break her right hip. could not get access to see about her and thought based on report I read that she had normal pressure hydrocephalus due to her walk/gait of legs crossing each other at one time. the fact that the spect scan is not covered by insurance, I could handle. but access for an elderly woman who was unable to make the 170-180 mile trip was heartbreaking to me.

    Comment by wendell — May 1, 2021 @ 10:07 AM

  35. Helpful, insightful article .

    I’m grieving the fairly recent loss of my mother . I’ve grieved the loss of my father .
    The loss of many beloved pets. The loss of family members due to their deceit.
    Having faith has helped me.
    Thank you for your article

    Comment by Cristine Gomez — May 1, 2021 @ 10:44 AM

  36. I have not gotten over my Mom’s passing. She had a lot of health problems and it all finally took there toll on her. She went to be with the Lord. Sure there were bad and good times. I choose to fugue on the good and she was an exceptional woman and Mother. I grieve her and miss her but I know she’s inn a good place which gives me some comfort. She was my rock. I miss her terribly.

    Comment by Steph — May 1, 2021 @ 11:47 AM

  37. I am an identical twin (rare type–1 out of 100k identical twins); my twin is still alive however chooses to be with toxic family member(s) and now I am not even able to mail her a card. The toxic family members have made it where she doesn’t get her mail anymore without going through them. We were the closest of closest while having our own family along the years–then 4 years and 3 months ago, she called for help; I went to and was attacked brutally (physically and emotionally by the other family members). Now, today on our 1/2 birthday, I have blocked her calls and not reaching out to her anymore. It is too dangerous and/or upsetting. I am letting her go. I have tried to help her with proper authorities, specialists, etc. I have joined Twinless Twins group on FB. It seems to be helpful. So glad they accepted me even though she hasn’t passed away. She is terminal though with what ails her. Again, she is choosing to be with whom injured me greatly and some of injuries are supposedly to be lifelong. Gosh, I hope not. Thank you for posting about grief. Today has been a difficult one. I choose not to be a part of crisis and chaos for me and my family, friends, etc. The loss of my twin being in my life is on a cellular basis; our lives are definitely different and now separate. In hindsight, I would have never seen our lives ever being this separate–it hurts.

    Comment by Christie Lynn Avila DeClue — May 1, 2021 @ 12:41 PM

  38. My dog ate rat poison & I thought she was okay. 5 days later she was having trouble breathing & I finally decided to take her to vet about 10 pm. She collapsed & died while I was putting leash on her. I have been guilt ridden since her death 1 week ago. Your article helped me a lot & I plan to follow some of suggestions in article. Thank ypu!

    Comment by Dara Forbes — May 1, 2021 @ 1:01 PM

  39. Thank you for this timely article. My husband passed away a month ago at age 55, from a motorcycle accident. Sudden and unexpected, I was never ready to lose him. He had been part of my life since we had been 13. I cried everyday, all day, for the past month. If anyone asked me how I was, I would burst into tears and cry the rest of the day. And people said, you’ll feel better in a few days, you shouldn’t cry so much, people Will see you, you should get over him, you’ll find someone else. No, I won’t . I want to talk about him. I want to cry, scream, curse,break things, yell at people, yell at God, everything. I want to be a hermit. I want to be alone. I want to talk. I sit on the couch all day and do Nothing. Nothing. Don’t call me. Turn my phone off.
    I am grieving for my beloved husband, whom I loved more than anyone else on the planet. The loss as emptied my life, left a hole in my person, shattered my heart. Confused my mind. Part of me is now lost. And I am not the same.

    Comment by Natalie S young — May 1, 2021 @ 1:06 PM

  40. When you lose your Mother there never seems to be a end to the grief process. One visits the grief seems like forever and makes difficult to connect with a relationship especially because I was so close to my Mom.

    Comment by Cori Moreno — May 1, 2021 @ 5:17 PM

  41. why does these places think you need help yes both brothers died in the same year one in April 2020 and one in September 2020 yes it hurt me and yes it made me sick but I couldn’t save them one died of a massive heart-attack in his home while the other died in his sleep in a nursing home.

    Comment by Elizabeth Rupe — May 1, 2021 @ 5:52 PM

  42. sudden deahs due to horrendous accident arethe hardest griefs toovercome especially when more than one was killed in the accident-i is hard to shutot he last moments of thier lives-i find keeping memrabilia of the individuals helpful-as well as pictures of them posted thruout the house-its not easyl

    Comment by marianna — May 1, 2021 @ 9:06 PM

  43. To the author of this you should know the Kubler-Ross book was for those dying NOT those grieving .Though we may go through similar emotions…more research please!

    Comment by Aimee — May 2, 2021 @ 3:02 PM

  44. I agree—- grief can be a monumental loss . Not even necessarily death. My husband of 18 years had been cheating on me secretly. I found out and he said he was in love and wanted to marry this mistress . I had been working so hard to try and save the marriage. But his personality was so different. He didn’t wAnt to love, he didn’t want to grow as a person. And grow together. He couldn’t have changed— he was lying and cheating. I was devastated that our marriage didn’t get a chance before the cheating . We began to divorce even though I didn’t want to lose him and split our family apart. Aside from losing my love, my children’s father and all that we had built and worked for in that time…. All of those memories are tainted by the lies and betrayal. The loss is huge. But secrets, lies, betrayal and bitter feelings get worse and worse. The ability to hurt someone more and pour salt in the wounds gets bigger and bigger. A lot of people who get divorced don’t feel this way— they say I need to move on and get over it. But it’s a loss, a death. And it’s grief. It’s not something I celebrate. The grief is real. It’s huge. It just feels with every holiday, and missed family event. The pain is harder each year. I wish there was more recognition for this deep grief. I wish I had tools to help it heal

    Comment by Jill — May 2, 2021 @ 11:01 PM

  45. I’ve lost my two girls, and acknowledging the grief is ok, and all, but it is the little things that bother me. I am always expecting them when I turn around, especially when I experience things that I used to share with them. I am not always displaying my emotions, but I do feel them, immensely.

    Comment by Robert Hughes Higley Pruitt — May 3, 2021 @ 6:30 AM

  46. Thank you for an excellent article!
    The comments from others that hurt, such as in the example—Get over it……. can help us all be more sensitive.
    In the Book of Job, his 3 friends did well at first, they just sat silently with him. Then they became the 3 Stooges and began to blame and pontificate to him. What a mess.
    I lost my husband 2 1/2 years ago, then was “Mobbed” by angry neighbors who tried to bring
    lawsuits against me, full of false accusations.
    It truly was a Tsunami as I packed up 38 years of things & purged to move away.
    When I got to the state I now live in, I found a
    GriefShare group. They are nationwide!
    It is WONDERFUL.
    I strongly recommend it to everyone reading this who is experiencing grief.
    It is the highlight of my week and has helped me navigate these terrible waters with loving people who have become strong supportive friends.
    Just find a group by goin on Griefshare.com.
    May God bring you comfort as well!

    Comment by Paula — May 3, 2021 @ 8:49 AM

  47. I am currently on ECT trt #5. I have had dozens in the past but not for 20 years. It is the only thing that has ever helped. I eat a Mediterranean diet, am fit have a good BMI and still play hard Racketball at 66 . I exercise daily and do everything I can to protect my brain and body. I’ve tried Calm and Headspace, but to little avail. I find the noise upsetting.Sleep is my issue, and has been for as long as I can recall, even as a child. When sleep is seriously disrupted, the depression spirals. I can’t remember when i last slept w/o taking anti-depressants etc. I hate taking meds, but I can’t function w/o sleep. I drink 2 glasses of red wine a week/don’t smoke/do drugs etc and never have. Exercise is my best friend, but it is often not enough. Wellbutrin is the only thing that has helped much, along with Effexor. Ketamine aggravates my heart and sends it into A.Fib. ECT may not be for everyone, and I hope that any damage done by it can be repaired, but what else is there? ECT is not as deadly as severe treatment resistant depression-it keeps people alive and that’s worth a lot, so please don’t criticize life saving treatments out of hand. Would really be interested to know what Dr.Amen’s view of ECT is re: damage to the brain structure-it seems to be a question that has been asked many times, but never answered. Also can he help treat a life time of insomnia w/o drugs? Would be very interested to visit the IL clinic if so. Thank you.

    Comment by Tina Hepworth — May 3, 2021 @ 5:41 PM

  48. Just wanted to add that last summer I tried a course of TMS everyday for 6 weeks for depression. Result? ^ weeks of total insomnia and exhaustion which did nothing for my depression. The pathway was then changed at my insistence to focus more on anxiety. My sleep improved somewhat but it took 3 mo to recover from and did little if anything to help my anxiety either, so I do not feel it can be regarded as simply a ‘safer’ alternative to ECT for everyone, but great if it works. My question is why would ECT work, yet TMS cause appalling insomnia? Thank you!

    Comment by Tina Hepworth — May 3, 2021 @ 6:01 PM

  49. Just wanted to add t on my wife’s behalf hat last summer she tried a course of TMS everyday for 6 weeks for depression. Result? ^ weeks of total insomnia and exhaustion which did nothing for herdepression. The pathway was then changed at her insistence to focus more on anxiety. Her sleep improved somewhat but it took 3 mo to recover from and did little if anything to help her anxiety either, so I do not feel it can be regarded as simply a ‘safer’ alternative to ECT for everyone, but great if it works. My question is why would ECT work well for one person, yet TMS cause appalling insomnia? Thank you.

    Comment by David Hepworth — May 3, 2021 @ 6:04 PM

  50. I lost my husband to divorce in 2006, after I had been through many unsuccessful back surgeries. I had been a very adventurous, thrill-seeking young lady he had met when we both lived in Hawaii in 1990. We were in our early 20’s at that time. I had other physical problems I just dealt with as long as I could fix them myself (so I thought). We had as perfect of a life as one could only dream. After we started having children , that’s when I could no longer fix the problems my body was experiencing. My back was terribly messed up with herniated discs, I’d developed SI joint dysfunction, along with a host of other problems. Once the MRI’s and other testing began, we found I had several anomalies in my spine, as well as, my left SI joint was fused from birth. After my first shoulder surgery, I was told it looked worse than any football accident they’d ever repaired. The labrum was torn from 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock. So bad it took two more surgeries to stabilize it. Anyway, I thought our marriage could survive anything! My world was my husband and children. I quit work when my daughter was only three and then two sons followed. I was no longer Lisa, I was Bill’s wife and mother of three. But that was fine. I was living a dream I never thought possible. And then my world came crashing down in 2005 after my final back surgery. He’s met a much younger girl (could be my daughter’s sister). This was not the man I married. But I never fussed or fought for him. I never asked why, but I knew. I wasn’t that thrill-seeking young lady with the great body he’d met 15 years earlier. He deserved more than what I was giving and apparently he didn’t “sign up” for this. Well, I’ve been living with my mother since, and I’m on disability. I did get my children and that was my only concern. But through my undying love for this man, I signed his retirement I had been awarded, over to him a year after our divorce. I thought it would make things better perhaps. I’ve continually sabotaged my life in these kind of ways since losing him. I’ve not dated in seven years. I don’t want to date. I don’t care if I’m ever intimate again. I love Bill and I feel he is my soulmate. I know this has to be terribly unhealthy, but this is the only way I can think. I also know I’ve had trauma as a child, but not sure what. I’ve tremendous memory loss, and now I suffer from narcolepsy without hope of finding a therapy that helps keep me awake. At least through the daytime hours. I can’t even drive now. I’m at the point of hopelessness, but my faith has kept me strong enough to stay the course. Could all of this be due to the loss of my husband and his betrayal??? Thank you!

    Comment by Lisa Yahya — May 4, 2021 @ 7:05 AM

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