A recent study says that the majority of bereaved individuals recover from bereavement within two years without any counseling, therapy, or coaching. I have several issues with that conclusion, the primary one being that bereavement is not a disease that can be recovered from. Rather, it is the result of a loss that affects the rest of your life.
I have never “recovered” from my losses, which implies getting over them. I have adapted to them and integrated them into my life. After nine years, I can still be moved to tears by memories of my son’s life and death. And I can still recall and reconnect to the agonies I suffered as a lonely child after my grandfather’s fatal heart attack over half a century ago.
The conclusion of the study is that the majority of people rebound from loss without any professional help within a relatively short period. That is not entirely surprising since grief is like any other pain in that once we have reached the other side, memory diminishes the agony so that we do not have to keep reliving it. I have scars to prove that people survive other injuries without help too, but the process can be shortened and softened with professional aid.
The two-year timeframe may appear short to someone studying grief, but it can be an eternity to the bereaved. Anything that provides support, assistance, and comfort to those making that journey through hell is completely justified. We don’t cure grief, we live it.
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