Grief is, sadly, a part of life. We live in an imperfect world where bad things happen, people leave or get sick and people die. Grief is a reaction to any form of loss and can cover a range of emotions; from anger to sadness to hopelessness, even to depression and despair. Everyone grieves in different ways and take different amounts of time to “move on”. And it is normal to still have moments of sadness even years after the fact. There is not a set pattern to the grieving process and it is ok if your process doesn’t look like someone else’s. As humans it is vital we give ourselves space to process our emotions and our grief.
Seeking professional help is appropriate at any time during your grief process if you feel it is necessary. Especially if your grief-related thoughts, feelings and/or behaviors become extreme or concerning to the people around you.
Grief counseling is a tool that has been around for a very long time and has been helpful for many dealing with their grief in a healthy way. If you feel your grief has been significantly impacting your life in a negative way, you are unable to adjust to the new reality of living apart from your loved one, you experience prolonged feelings of emptiness or numbness, etc you will want to consider getting professional help from a licensed counselor or visiting a bereavement group. Visit with your primary care provider for a referral or ask friends or family members for a recommendation or simply look online for a grief counselor in your area.
It is ok to struggle with your grief and ok to not feel ok. You do not have to go through this alone and there are people who want to help you. Get the help you need and you will see that it is worth it.