How can I deal with my prolonged grief?

Ask A Therapist OnlineHow can I deal with my prolonged grief?
John asked 12 years ago

My mother died over two years ago and I am still having trouble coming to terms with it for multiple reasons. It is causing problems in my marriage and life in general.

1 Answers
Best Answer
Insight Psychological Staff answered 11 years ago

People experience grief in different ways. The process of grief begins with the initial loss which involves shock, followed by the absence of feelings (that includes denial or anger), depression, helpless or hopelessness, self reliance, hope, and finally, acceptance.

The important element is to allow yourself to feel the emotions surrounding the loss. Whether it be sadness, pain, or anger, giving yourself permission to experience the emotions will help move you towards acceptance.

What would you say to your mother if she was still with you? How would you feel? Sometimes, a “release letter” can be helpful in this process. A release letter allows you to externalize your thoughts and emotions, releasing it from within you. With this release, acceptance can be gained. This is the acceptance that you were hurt, that you are okay, and that you are capable of going on.

Moving through this process can be challenging to do on your own. I would suggest seeking therapeutic support in your community to help you through this closure process. A therapist can provide you with helpful strategies to achieve closure, while also supporting you in managing the associated emotions.