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Grief does not have an expiry date

Grief is an emotion we experience when we lose something. It can be a job, a position of respect, material possession. It can also be the loss of a relationship to break up, divorce or the ultimate - losing someone we love to death.

The way we react to loss is different for each of us. There is no one ‘correct way to grieve. Some of us may quickly accept the reality and move on in a practical way spending very little time mourning the loss For a few others it may take longer to get over the loss.

Most of the other types of loss are in some way reversible. We can get another job, another position of respect, create fresh property, get into another relationship and so on. This is not to say, it compensates for the earlier loss but it gives us some relief from the pain of the earlier loss.

The loss of someone to death is an irreversible loss. There is nothing to be done to ease the pain. That relationship with the person who died was a unique relationship that cannot be replaced. Again, some of us though we feel saddened by the loss are able to get back to life almost immediately. To help others to cope with the loss, our culture has created rituals and customs which in some way help to cope with the loss and come to terms with it. For some peculiar but very workable reason, our culture also has the one year of no celebration custom. Festivals are not celebrated for a year and no joyous occasion is created for the year. Again this can help a person to cope with the loss.

But it is not essential that people should stop grieving at the end of one year of a person’s death. From the perspective of grief, one year is just another random time frame. A person can continue to grieve for much longer than that. If the relationship had been deep and meaningful grief could always be a part of the person’s life. They may get back to work, start mingling with people, get back to being social but a little bit of sadness could always be a part of their lives. We cannot ask someone why they are grieving for someone who died five years back, ten years back or even longer time. The deeper the love, perhaps the longer the grieving. For some people, it is a constant companion. The person they loved is dead and gone but grief does not have an expiry date

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