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How Does Grief Change Over Time?


Grief is always changing.

The grief you experience in the days immediately following loss will be different than the grief you feel a year or more after your Loved One has passed. This is normal, and part of the healing process.


While all mourners will experience these changes at their own rate, below are some examples of how the grieving process looks for many individuals.


Grief in the Immediate Days Following Loss

Your grief will likely be the most intense in the immediate hours and days after learning that a Loved One has passed away. Funeral services, visitations, and other memorial ceremonies will help give you a way to process these strong emotions while providing the closure you may need to begin healing.


Grief After a Few Weeks or Months

As you begin to get back into a routine after the death of a Loved One, your grief should start to lessen and begin to feel more bearable. Hopefully, at this time, you will be able to reflect on more of the happy memories you shared with your late Loved One, making your days a bit brighter.


Grief Once a Year or More has Passed

After some time has passed, your grief will start to fade. At this point, your grief probably won’t be the focus of your day, but it may come and go with different waves of intensity. For example, you may experience it more fully on the anniversary of your Loved One’s death or when you experience a reminder of them. When you do feel that grief, sit with your emotions and try to reflect on moments of happiness you two shared, finding your way back to peace.


Grief feels different for different people.

Your grief will look and feel different than anyone else’s—and that’s okay. Allow yourself the time and space needed to heal at your own pace in your own way.


If you are currently experiencing loss, please accept our deepest sympathies. We hope that you can feel comforted by your Loved One’s memory each day. If you need someone to talk to about what you’re going through, please view our resource for who to speak to about grief.