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Don't Rush The Grieving Process

Chances are that you've felt rushed at one time or another. Deborah Schoeberlein, in the online article "Moving at the Speed of Life," contends that "most of us move too fast...much of the time. Sometimes we move quickly by choice, but other times, we move rapidly by habit."

As you're grieving the loss of your loved one, now is the perfect time to slow down. In the book Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us, Nancy Berns shares her opinion that our society expects us to move quickly through our bereavement, find closure, and move forward with our lives.

Many who have mourned the loss of a loved one know how intense that pressure can be. In Maria Kubitz’s online essay, "Just Let Me Be Sad: A Response to the Stigma of Grief", she writes, "In the United States, we live in a society so uncomfortable with emotional pain that when someone dies, society expects the outward mourning period to end once the funeral is over. When the bereaved do not cooperate with these prescribed time tables, they are often accused of 'wallowing' in their grief. They are indignantly told to 'move on' and 'get over it.'"

Not only are we susceptible to social pressures, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get on with life. The need to return to work to pay the bills seeks distraction in a wide variety of newly-adopted activities in the hope of restoring normalcy is only going to delay, and may lengthen and deepen, your grief.

While your grief is yours and no one else can know how long it should take, it's a time in your life to be honored and respected. Certainly no one can anyone carry your bereavement burden for you. Conversely, no one has the opportunities for growth and self-realization that you do at this time. The grieving process offers so much: pain, yes, but also invaluable learning moments. That's why we say, "Don't rush the grieving process". 

Ms. Kubitz knows firsthand the weight of this burden. "I have to admit, I would have gladly chosen to bury the overwhelming pain when my daughter died. Suppressing pain and emotions is what I had done my whole life until that point. The fact is that the pain of losing someone I loved MORE than my own life was too much to bury. I reluctantly – and resentfully – took on more pain than I could bear. I did so because I had no other choice."

You also have no choice but don't allow anyone (including yourself) to rush you through grieving your loss. After all, it can't be done.

Gently remind those who try. As Maria wrote, "Just let me be sad. My intention is not to make you feel uncomfortable. I don’t expect – or want – you to follow in my footsteps. But I do expect you to respect the path I have been forced to take on my journey through life. I truly hope you never have to carry this load yourself."