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This platitude is so far from true. Most of us who have experienced the death of a family member, and who work through our grief in a healthy way would say time has nothing to do with healing. Time is powerful: it keeps moving, and even death cannot stop it, but it does not have the power to heal wounds.

In the book, “A Friend Indeed,” author Amy Florian describes it as a myth that is telling us that our grief has a timetable and we should deny our pain. Or worse, we should repress it or hope that it will one day go away, rather than doing the work mourning requires.

The pain of grief does not follow a timetable or progress in neat and tidy phases. We hope it will one day go away. As quick as the grief came upon us, we wish it would disappear. People around us hope that the grief pain will go away too, so that life will go back to normal. None of us are comfortable with the pain of grief, and we all wish time would simply heal it and take it away.

What happens when a year, two years, or five years have passed since the death of your spouse and you’re still wounded from this loss?. How do you respond to yourself? Do you believe something went wrong in your mourning? Do you worry that something is wrong with you?

The Truth: Time Does Not Heal All Wounds

  • Time puts space between the death event and the current day, but does not guarantee healing.
  • Grief follows no timetable: allow yourself all the time you need
  • The grief pain often changes as you work through it. It is normal to have pockets of intense grief years after the death.
  • Do not allow others to dictate to you how to grieve. A grief counselor will partner with you and help you walk through it.
  • Grief lasts a lifetime. It changes. The pain does not always have to be acute pain, but it can transform to deeper understanding of life, yourself, and the world.
  • The wounds of grief can give you gifts that can come by no other means.
  • A wounded person is beautiful and powerful, and lives a full, satisfying life.
  • All people are walking around with wounds. How can your grief wounds propel you to a fuller life?

Related:
Speak Your Truth Amidst the Pain 
Intense Pain: Is This Depression or Grief?
Financial Decisions for the First Year

About the Author: Grief Counselor Karen Liebold, L.C.P.C., M.A. is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor committed to grief education. Karen has worked with clients in a variety of settings and has presented professional education workshops and seminars at both the national and international levels.

Disclaimer: This blog post provides general educational information from a mental health professional, but you should not substitute information on this blog for individual professional advice. If you are thinking of hurting yourself or someone else, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255, call 911 or visit your local hospital Emergency Room. Karen Liebold is not a licensed representative of Royal Alliance Associates or Phase 3 Advisory Services.