Harvard Mental Health Letter

The normal process of grieving

People often experience fluctuating emotions for months.

When people talk about grieving, they often describe an experience akin to being at sea. Wave after wave of emotion envelops them, and just when they think they're recovering, a new wave hits them. Yet with time, most people manage to reach equilibrium. While significant losses are never forgotten, the feelings of grief become less intense and more manageable.

The following experiences are all part of the normal spectrum of grieving and can last from six to 12 months.

Yearning. Survivors repeatedly want to reunite with the person who died in some way, and may even want to die themselves in order to be with their loved one.

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