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  • The Stratengy Team

How Long Does Grief Last?

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

This is a great question and it is not going to be the same for any one person. I have a business associate that has lost multiple people in her life and each death experience was different.

When she was a teenager, her half-brother passed away suddenly due to a life-long illness so the family knew this would happen. Then while serving in the military, her maternal grandmother passed away and her other half brother. All of these were quick, sudden but due to health complications. Life just seemed to go on without a true grieving process. It isn’t that she didn’t care or didn’t miss them, it is just that they weren’t in her everyday space of being a mom with young kids living across the nation. However, life changed when her 24-year old daughter was killed in a single car auto accident where she drove off the road, hit a culvert and drowned in a lake. This business associate was non-functional for a time as she grieved the sudden loss of her oldest daughter. When she did return to work she had some memory retention issues, the quality of her work was different and she had a hard time letting people in. Thankfully her friends and co-workers got her to go to grief counseling. She didn’t want to be there but needed to be there.

Four year after her daughter passed, her mom passed. Her mom was 76 and was going in for a normal bypass surgery. No complications were expected but it was her Mom’s time. Some of the same symptoms surfaced with this sudden loss of a close loved one - memory loss, slower work, lessened work quality, etc. I know she hasn’t done grief counseling yet as this relationship was a tough one for her. Her mom had some mental diagnosis and they had some very strained final days.

One of the best things you can do for someone when they are experiencing a loss is pray for them (if you are a praying person), encourage them to deal with their grief and just love them where they are at. Life and death are at the very core of life. As a leader, we are going to have teammates, friends and family that experience loss. Knowing how to deal with it is a core skill we can learn about.

Great Western Insurance Company has offered up these 13 signs that indicate you should seek grief counseling:

  1. You’re having suicidal thoughts and/or persistent feelings of depression.

  2. You’re experiencing ongoing symptoms of distress, such as crying, insomnia, loss of appetite, increased irritability and anger, or panic attacks.

  3. You’re struggling to complete everyday tasks, including basic self-care.

  4. You can’t believe that your loved one is really dead.

  5. You frequent familiar places, hoping to see your departed loved one there, or avoid locations and situations that may remind you of your loss.

  6. You’re abusing substances, like alcohol or drugs, or engaging in addictive behaviors, like gambling.

  7. You’re worried about yourself, and/or others have expressed concern for your well-being.

  8. You are withdrawn and avoiding social interaction.

  9. You don’t have family or friends to support you, or the people in your life can’t sustain the support you need over the course of a lengthy grieving process.

  10. You’re suffering from unexplained illnesses.

  11. You’ve experienced multiple losses in a short period of time.

  12. You’re feeling bereavement guilt, possibly blaming yourself for your loved one’s death or grappling with regret about your relationship with the deceased.

  13. You’re plagued with intrusive thoughts, such as reliving the circumstances of your loved one’s death.

As we age, we will have more people we know pass away. This is part of the aging process but how we deal with life, death and grief are essential to our home and work lives.

Stratengy is here to help you navigate being a great leader in today’s world. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you and your team be more engaged, collaborative, and productive.

Stratengy is here to help you navigate being a great leader in today’s world. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you and your team be more engaged, collaborative, and productive.

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