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Alternatively, if years after the loss, you can’t bear the mention of your loved ones name, you sleep all day, you aren’t participating in your normal everyday activities, you do things to “numb” or escape your grief, those are warning signs that you are not coping well, and should seek the assistance you need to begin healing. That doesn’t have to mean you can’t and won’t live a happy and productive life.

Grieving in a healthy manner, taking steps to move forward, and rebuild your life with a new normal, doesn’t mean you won’t have those tough days or tough moments. What it does mean is the love you shared with loved ones lost, doesn’t have an expiration date either.

The reality is they won’t be over it, nor should they be.

If someone spent years loving another person, the pain of that person’s death simply will not be removed due to a date on the calendar.

The opposite actually might happen – people who are grieving may feel even more pain in year two because the initial numbness, which often serves as a protective barrier at the onset of loss, has worn off and they begin experiencing the full intensity of their feelings and grief.

This is accompanied by the realization that life with loss is their “new normal.” I lost my mother at 9 and father at 12.

The frequency and intensity of those grief pangs/knives should lessen over time, but the reality is every now and then for the rest of your life, you will feel those pangs. Many seek counseling or join a support group, and enjoy the company of a good and understanding listener.

Everyone grieves at their own pace, and in their own way. If years after your loss, thinking of your loved one missing a special day or milestone in your life, makes you sad, puts you in a funk, or makes you cry, don’t beat yourself up.

A beyond-use date is a date placed on a prescription by a pharmacy noting when that prescription should no longer be used.

It will often say "discard after ..." or "do not use after ..." The general practice is for this to be one year from the date the prescription was filled.

there is a time we need to be done with them, and throw them away… I’ve heard time and time again there is a societal expectation to “get over” grief in 6 months, and at the longest, a year.

For some reason, there seems to be an acceptable shelf life—6-12 months—and then grief should be off the shelf, out of the home and permanently removed with the weekly trash service. The “grief expiration date” myth must come from people who have never experienced a close death – otherwise they would know the truth. They are hopeful that should death touch their world, it will only take 6-12 months to recover. So, until faced with the reality, it’s easier to think ‘this won’t happen to me, AND if it does it will only be bad for a finite, short amount of time and then…there’s an expiration date and it is magically all gone.’ What a wonderful world that would be.

I remember feeling the expectation of a grief expiration date myself.

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