How Long Does Grief Last?

Grief lasts as long as it lasts. Although this statement may not seem helpful to you, it is true. It is different for each person. It is important to realize that, while grief and its intensity will subside, most find that it is replaced with a “sweet sadness” that comes at times of remembrance. This is simply the acknowledgement that significant loss has occurred. That the loss, and the person who is gone, matters and affects our lives.

There are many factors that affect how long a person grieves, including age, maturity, personality, physical and mental health, coping style, culture, spiritual and religious background, family background, other stressors and life experiences. The time spent grieving may also depend on how prepared a person was before the loss was experienced. 

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, www.nhpco.org

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