Going the distance

Grieving is a journey

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. July 31, 2013

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Each of us at some point in our lives must confront the painful reality of the death of a spouse, partner, loved one or even a cherished pet. There is a process, an experience that we each must go through to heal. There is no shortcut or quick fix.

Many people who are grieving comment about "being in a fog" and not being able to focus, concentrate or even do simple tasks. Their thinking process becomes overwhelmed, and they simply can't function as before.

Episodes of yearning for the deceased, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and major swings in energy, weight and sleep habits are common. It's not unusual for these feelings to persist for months to a year or more following a devastating loss. In the case of a sudden death or a loss associated with trauma, these feelings and experiences may persist much longer.

The good news is that life does get better for the vast majority of people who have lost a loved one. However, some people need a navigator to hold their hand and guide them out of the fog. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

July 31, 2013