Timetables for Grief

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Month One

In the first month, you may be so busy with funeral arrangements, visitors, paperwork and other immediate tasks that you have little time to begin the grieving process.  You also may be numb and feel that the loss is unreal.  This shock can last beyond the first month.

Month Three

The three-month point is particularly challenging for many grieving people.  Visitors have gone home, cards and calls have pretty much stopped coming, and most of the numbness has worn off.  Well-meaning friends and family, who don’t understand the grief process, may pressure you to “get back to normal.”  You may be just beginning the very painful task of understanding what this loss really means.

Months Four through Twelve

You continue to work through many tasks of learning to live with loss.  You begin to have more good days than bad days.  Still, even late into the last half of the first year, difficult periods sometimes will crop up with no obvious trigger.  These difficult periods are normal; they are not a setback or lack of progress.

Significant Anniversaries

During the first year, personal and public holidays present additional challenges.  Your baby’s birthday, due date, other family member’s birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and family and other reunions can be painful and difficult.  Medical anniversaries, such as the date of diagnosis, also can bring up memories.  Planning a special activity for the day may be comforting. (source: KCH)

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