So how long is long enough? My reply is, “As long as it takes for you.” Just as each of us has individual DNA and fingerprints, so do we have individual and unique ways of saying good-bye to our loved ones. There are no rules or time limits on how long one should grieve. For some, the grief period will be brief, for others it may be years.
It could be the death of a loved one, a national tragedy or the slow economy. Regardless of the nature of the event, tragic circumstances in you or your partner’s world can have a major impact on your relationship. After 9-11-01, there were many stories about a renewed devotion to family and partnerships in light of the tragedy. However, a recent survey shows that, a year later, most Americans feel the primary relationships in their life have not been strengthened but remain the same.
On September 11, the United States experienced traumatic loss at a level that was, until then, unimaginable. The aftermath of traumatic loss is uniquely intense, putting incredible strain on the family. Yet, it is possible for families to experience such a loss and survive it intact.
When the death of a loved one occurs, regardless or whether it was expected or not, you will find yourself having to deal with a great number of people. Some you will know closely, others may be complete strangers, all claiming some kind of relationship to the deceased.