So maybe they don’t come right out and say it, but from some people, at some point, you will get the distinct feeling that they think you should be “over” your grief by now. These are generally not terrible people, they just really don’t understand what it is that you’re going through.
If they’re a person who maybe hasn’t experienced a profound loss recently, or if they’ve never experienced a profound loss at all, they may not know or have forgotten how much space is taken up by grief. It takes time for you to figure out how to integrate this grief into your life.
How that grief integrates into your life and changes you as a person can be a problem for people in your orbit. When you begin to more comfortably integrate grief into what’s slowly becoming your new version of normal, you will be different, not necessarily better or worse, just different.
This means that people’s relationship with the old you doesn’t exist anymore, because the old you doesn’t exist anymore. You look the same, you’ve got the same name, so their expectation is that you’ll return to being the person they knew and loved before. But, you’ve been changed by this loss, they have not, and it can be really hard on relationships when people don’t change together. The question is whether or not you both want to put in the effort to create a new relationship.
The tough truth is that who you are now, and who they are still, might not be compatible personalities anymore. It may happen dramatically or it may be a slow growing apart over time. But it’s okay if the way grief has impacted your life means that certain relationships with people, who are unable or unwilling to understand, become a secondary loss for you.
It’s generally unreasonable to expect you to get over your grief. No one “gets over” grief, we just eventually figure out how make it part of who we are.
Thanks for visiting Grief Compass. We’re sorry you have to be here, but are glad we’ve found each other.