A year after my mother died a therapist thought I’d been grieving too long. So she prescribed me an antidepressant.
Mindlessly, I filled the prescription and took the pills. When I had significant side effects after the first month, she prescribed me a different one.
Seriously? I thought. Why am I taking these? Depression is a perfectly normal response to loss.
I didn’t have too little serotonin, I reasoned. I was GRIEVING. Why would I want to numb my feelings?
She was misguided. I never filled that prescription. I did go on grieving. Eventually, though, my time of active grieving morphed into something less consuming. Less painful.
Don’t get me wrong: I still felt the loss of my mother. But it wasn’t an every moment thought as it had been. Over time, all I felt was love. And more love. Oh, and gratitude.
Here’s the thing about grief: it takes as long as it takes. And other people don’t get to have an opinion about how long it takes.
Nor should you be impatient with your grief. If you’ve lost a loved one (or for that matter, a beloved pet, a job, a family home) –expect that you will grieve and resist the urge to shut that down simply because you or others think it’s gone on too long.
In time, your grief will change. In its OWN time, not anyone else’s.
In recognition of that, I developed three products that support grieving people. One is that beautiful deck of 50 affirmations that you see pictured above. The Releasing Griefdeck of affirmation cards HERE gives you a daily healing mantra, if you will, to focus your thoughts. Instead of covering up your feelings, the cards encourage you to feel them and be ok with feeling them. Because they’re NORMAL.
A Guided Journal through GriefHEREis a way to get your deepest feelings about your loved one out through writing, drawing, collage, prayer and meditations. Each page has a prompt or activity that will help you work through your grief in a healthy way.
And finally, Coping with Grief downloadable audio HERE is a beautiful guided imagery recording that takes the listener a journey where he or she will sit and talk with their loved one, saying all the things they may not have been able to say–or that they’d like to repeat. And remember, this one and all my pre-recorded downloadable audios are on sale HERE to celebrate my launch. Use the coupon code LAUNCH to get the special price of $4.99 through Sunday night.
Sometimes you just need to talk about it. How well I know that. Hypnotherapy sessions revolving around grief issues are always available HERE.
Each of these grief-oriented products aim to help work with and through grief issues. Instead of asking you to “stuff” those feelings, each asks you to feel into your grief and in that way, over time, it transforms into pure love.
Maybe they can help you, too. Come see all my grief offerings by topic, up top in the tabs, HERE.
This is lovely, Carol. Grief can be a tricky thing. You think you”re “past” it and then it comes back full force and knocks you over. I love these resources you have created.
Grief and bereavement are such misunderstood things. There is perceived weakness in the grief process, but the truth is, nothing is more healthy than going through it in a way that honours both you, and your loved one who has died. I know my family is currently undertaking some anticipatory grief counseling (I’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness), it’s just a thought as well for those who know that a loved one is dying. Thanks for your resources, they look really nice.
Wonderful I am getting this for a friend. (Omg that sounds like “for a friend”) But it’s not because she has a death in her life recently, it’s because she struggles with an estrangement. I think this too, is a form of long term grief and your books and audio may be a very helpful tool. Plus I want her to pass it on to her therapist who might be able to suggest it to other clients. Beautiful, Carol. Thank you.
This is absolutely true. YOu know, that audio may work for her. I hadn’t thought about it that way. Thank you, Cathy!
A very wise woman (my psychotherapist) told me not to mistake grief for depression. They are very different things although society often wants to treat grief as if it were depression in an attempt to help the grieving person get back to “normal” sooner.
My doctor, like yours, prescribed an anti-depressant about four months after my daughter’s passing. I filled it and took it for about a week before I realized it was making me feel worse not better. I stopped taking it and went back to doing all the other self care tasks I’ve been focussing on; eating well, walking in nature daily, getting some exercise, seeing a therapist, talking to friends as much as I needed to, reading daily affirmations, trying to get more sleep, and being gentle with myself.
Thanks for sharing these resources you created. I think that will help a lot people. XOX
Grief lasts different amounts of time for each person. Something like this might help them cope.
Great post. This is one I wish I had read twenty years ago when I lost my brothers. I’m sharing. I think it will help lots of people.
Your products are absolutely brilliant, Carol!
And so needed…
I had this issue when my grandmother passed away. I let myself feel miserable for weeks, but I know that’s not what she would have wanted. Beautiful post!
“It takes as long as it takes.” Perfect. People mean well but no one should judge anyone else’s process.
I agree with you that it is better to feel your way through the process or it may not happen. Your words, your products, and you are spectacular, inspirational, and will be lifeline for so many!
I completely agree that everyone has to grieve on their own time. I think the idea of a grief journal is a beautiful way of processing those feelings.
I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother but your right, noone should tell you how much time it takes to grieve. There will always be grief but as you said it changes over time. Beautifully put x
I am loving your new venture, Carol. Truly brilliant. I’m going to send you a pm today.
Everyone grieves differently and it can take a while. I grieved for a long time when my brother was killed.
Thank you for this post. I am sorry for your loss. You are so right about grief being such an individual thing – nobody should tell you how to act or how to feel. We all need to take as long as we need and have the support from those around us…
I imagine grief works differently for each person. I know if my mom died, I’d be pretty sad for a long time.
I wonder if a grief journal would have helped me. I kept experiencing losses one after another for a couple of years and it seemed like the piling on made the grief last forever for all of them.
That’s a beautiful way to approach the grieving process, and definitely a healthier option than numbing yourself through antidepressants. I was on them for a while as well and felt that my emotions and personality were too toned down and I was no longer ‘me’.
This notebook is wonderful. i hope it will help you go through your grief and I agree that everyone needs to go through this in their own pace and way.
I think grief is like everything else. You’ll have your good and bad days, but you can’t let the negativity control your life. Missing someone is perfectly normal, but missing out on life isn’t.
Wow such nice products. I think everyone deals with grief differently. That journal sounds wonderful. It’s almost like therapy for those who aren’t ready to seek help. Good to ask yourself questions and to internalize what’s going on.
So true. Grief is an individual thing and everyone faces it differently. It’s important to go through all the processes on your own time.
Grief seems to be different for all. Some will grieve for years possibly even a life time others seem to get over it quickly as they hide behind the walls. Your idea does seem like it should work thank for sharing
come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com
My mother grieved for almost 30 years after my father died. No matter what we did, she would not let go, but just wallowed. Journaling is a great idea.
I would say yes and no when it comes to the part that it takes as long as it takes. I agree that you cannot make certain people feel better over time. Some people cry the minute something bad happens. Some can’t cry for six months or even a year afterward. I do think that if you hold onto your pain. for 12 years that there is something wrong there. It’s no longer about grief then. It’s about the inability to let go of something which is a problem. So, on the one hand, I agree that telling someone to get better is stupidity at best, and cruelty at worst. But if it’s ten years later at they are still “grieving,” I think it’s time to ask yourself some questions and seek counseling about why you are unable to let someone go.
Grief is a thing that everyone faces it differently. It’s important to go through all the processes on your own time.Your idea does seem like it should work thank for sharing. 🙂
The journal is such a wonderful idea for those experiencing loss. It is so important to work through those feelings in your own time in your own way, and a journal is such a healthy way to release all those emotions.
These resources will assist many to have their feelings be right the way they are and move on to being in the present moment grateful for life. Thank you for creating them.
It can be a tricky thing to get stuck in your grief. It is important to have a good support system to help you past it and move on. Always remember them, but you have to move on.
I am going to need to use a grief journal. My father was diagnosed with cancer and he is too old for aggressive treatment so he might chose not to have any treatments. I will keep this in mind so I can deal with it..
I agree with this. Grief should not be forced with time. Every people has his on way to cope with it. Your works will be helpful to those experiencing grief.
I have a friend who’s currently dealing with the loss of her mother. I am sharing this with her, hoping this will help her deal with the grief and pain.
This was such a beautiful post! I will be sharing this with some friends!
Indeed having friends around and the family that surrounds will be a big help to cope up with depression. For me, I personally write on a journal too. This is to ease the pain by writing what I feel.
Grief can be a struggle and everyone grieves differently. However, the loss of a mom is always hard no matter your age when you lose her. The journals are so beautiful and necessary. Thank you for a heartfelt post.
i love reading your article, you’re writings are really nice and the topic are all make sense! interesting!
Grieving can lead to depression and if not treated, it can seriously affect your life. There are people who have the power of setting themselves free from it through journals, but there are people who need professional help. Talking with someone about the loss of someone loved always helps.
When I lost my grandmother, I grieved for a long time. It has been almost 7 years and it still hurts just as much. Losing a loved one is hard.
This is such a great post! When you lose someone, it is ok to take as long as needed to grief.
I recently lost a family member and I don’t think my grief should stop soon.
I am glad to hear that you reached the end of the grieving stage. I’ve heard it said that it can take up to a year for it to end. I really didn’t even cry over losing my mom until two years after her death. Then I bawled like a baby for several days. It took a MOVIE of all things for me to finally reach the point of being ready to let it out.
It sounds like you were really close to your mom. I don’t blame you for taking your own natural course to get through it.
These products are something that I feel will help so many people. I pray that I don’t have to deal with the grief of losing someone else anytime soon, but unfortunately, I know in my heart that it’s coming far sooner than I want to admit.
I’m so very sorry for the loss of your mother. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. You’re so right .. everyone grieves differently .. and it seems too that some doctors are quick to prescribe something. I lost my best friend a year or so ago and (at times) it hurts just as much as it did that day.
I can’t imagine how difficult it is to lose a parent. The grieving process can be so hard. I can only imagine what it will be like for me when my time comes. Things like this post and encouraging words are going to be critical for me to get through it. My heart prays for you and others going through these things.
My friend lost her dad 26 years ago and she still grieves over that loss. Christmas is especially difficult for her. You would think that she would have had some sort of acceptance but I guess when you were growing up without a dad to guide and protect you is just so hard. I’m giving her this journal. I hope she finds inner peace.
Perfectly said: it takes as long as it takes. And other people don’t get to have an opinion about how long it takes.
I haven’t lost anyone close to me yet but this would be very helpful when the day comes.
Some they think grief is same as depression.But,grieving is different from person to person.Some take more time when they face such experience in life.Interesting post.And I like these products shared in this post too…
Wow very touching I think I could find what your offering very helpful
I completely agree with you that grieving has it’s own time,Different people have different ways of coping up. I love the idea of a journal to help emotionally.
I have a very good friend who is a grief counselor and she has classes to help people overcome their grief. It is so inspiring that she can do this, despite losing her own 4 year old child while undergoing open heart surgery. I think you and her are going such a great job helping others who find it so hard to deal with the loss of a loved one. Wishing you more success! May God bless you for your efforts to make life a little better for the grieving.
Very timely post. One of our dearest friends lost their mother in March. They are still grieving. We understand grieving is different for different people including, their feelings, health condition, time etc. But we feel very bad because there’s nothing we can do to help. We can’t be with them every minute of the day. The guided journal you shared is a good resource and I will definitely share it with them. Anything I can do to help.
The more we numb our feelings the more we delay the process of grieving. We all move on through our own ways and no one should stop us from it. It also takes time and it will take as much time as your heart needs. I love those affirmation cards!
Grief is very personal and everyone deals with it differently. I guess nobody can fully understand the other one’s grief and therefore should not try to judge the way someone deals with it nor the length. And I agree, antidepressants because you’re grieving… really?! Grief is one of the most natural things in this world and not imposed by society. She should have tried to help you differently, not by giving you pills 🙁
You’ve made the right decision to share your feelings through writing, than taking medications. Being depended to anti depressants will cause another problem, and sometimes doctors doesn’t care much, they just want more $$$
we can’t rush the process, it takes as long as it takes. This could def help some people
I can say that I’ve a very strong personality. I don’t grieve long even when my mother died. I can easily accept reality.
Ughhh losing a loved one is so tough! I lost my brother a few years ago and just recently a best friend.
I have had several close loses, and could have definitely used this during that experience. This would be a great gift to give someone who is grieving.
You have just opened my thoughts. Ofcourse it did not take much for me to realise that Grieve should not be numbed. It should be embraced and work on being stronger a little at a time. Thankyou for sharing
I know exactly how you feel! Its hard to grievefor so long ive experienced that too
I do like journaling my thoughts to get it out there. I am glad you found a solution that works for you.
It is so important to experience your grief, Carol. so I couldn’t agree with you more. I have found grief to be like an unruly two year old in the initial phases, never knowing what antics it will be up to next or when it will explode with emotions that can’t be contained. Then as time goes on, as you have described, it morphs into something more controlled, but I still allow myself to cry when I need to about the major losses I have endured. I love your products and know they will be very helpful.
It does seem like others think there is a time limit on sadness for losing someone—but you are so right—everyone is different!!
I lost my daddy quite suddenly when I was 10 years old. The grief was oh so overwhelming, and as a child so incredibly difficult to work through. I went to a play therapist who was amazing, and she worked out of a workbook made for children. I remember duckies but that’s about it. When I lost my grandfather it was not only hard on me but my step son. I wanted so badly to find the ducky book again, but sadly never could.
You are going to change so many lives with this.
Grief is a very personal issue as you point out. I like that you mention losing a job as that is very definitely a form of loss and part of the grieving process. Thanks Carol, a really nice post.
Do we ever really stop grieving? My Dad is still often in my thoughts even though he died when I was in college.
I love the products you’re offering. Every little bit helps when people are at this point and it seems like nothing helps…
Grief is such a unique journey that can be so heartbreaking and bring so many thoughts. I love your journal idea and the cards.
I don’t know why we “shy” away from grief. Whether it’s death or a broken relationship we all need the time that is appropriate for us. I remember when I was younger, a co-worker lost her brother in a construction accident and she wore black for a year. It was a very visible indication of her grief.
It’s so easy to talk wisely about grieving, as long as you have not been through it all yourself.I agree 1000% with what you are stating, it takes as long as it takes, sometimes I believe it never ends, it just changes.We just learn to live with it, which doesn’t mean that the grief is over. If I remember right, you told me once that you’re Italian ( or your family is), think about the many widows in Italy wearing black for the rest of their lives and never even think of having a second husband ever.As for myself I can only say, I have had even physically symptoms, it was the worst thing ever and I do not wish my worst enemies to go through real grief, but I have also learned a lot and grief has actually made me the person I am today, and I am happy about that. I have adjusted my priorities big time!!!
Yes, those physical symptoms are not uncommon. And you are right–grief is transformative and you are living proof. Thank you for sharing!
Well said. And some lovely ideas for helping people through the process.
I agree but there are some people that experience an intense daily yearning and preoccupation with the deceased and In essence, have the inability to adjust to life without that person. And when these feelings of grief become overwhelming, cause physical symptoms, and last for long periods of time, and keep you from leading a normal, active life again, to tell them, it takes as long as it takes only furthers them down the road to not realizing they need help and that it’s not okay for them to remain in that unhealthy state of mental health. Yes, it takes as long as it takes, but there also has to be some measure of time that has to be recognized as normal otherwise we could be leading those who need help into remaining in complicated grief. Keep up the great inspirational notes though. I know they help many.