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Does Time Really Heal the Wounds of Grief?

by Dora Carpenter

posted in Self Improvement

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One of the most often heard responses to loss is "It just takes time." We have all heard it, and probably have all said it. How true is it and, if it is true, how much time does it take to heal the pains of sadness when one has lost a loved one?
What is true is that everything changes as time passes. The emotional state that you might be in at this time, depending on when the death occurred, will definitely change as time passes. There will be days that you seem to feel better; yet, there will be days when you seem to have regressed. This is the nature of grief. So, if you are searching for a specific 'time-clock recipe' for grief, I must inform you that there isn't one.
While I share the statistic that it can take anywhere from five to eight years to recover from a devastating loss, I also share with you good news... it doesn't have to take that long. My father died many years ago and it indeed took me over five years to begin to get through the grief process. My mother passed away one year ago; and, although the normal and natural emotions of grief are still with me, I've been able to move through the process and do the grief work instead of waiting on time alone.
If we simply wait on time, expecting it to do the work of healing our grief, time will pass and time will pass, but we will stand still in our grief like quicksand. What do we do to move forward? We have to do the grief work. We have to acknowledge that the emotions we are feeling are natural and normal. We have to accept that we can't go back and change or redo the past. Then, we have to take action on moving forward.
What has the death taught you? What are your gifts and talents that you've been given to use? How will you move forward to honor your deceased loved one? How will you help another who is grieving? What legacy will you leave to your family, your community, the world?
I encourage you to not bury your future in quicksand. You have work to do, so don't wait on time. Don't let your gifts and talents be buried in the cemetery. Seek grief support, a non-judgmental friend, a spiritual advisor, a counselor, or a grief coach to help you develop your plan of action to move forward with time.
About the Author: Download a FREE copy of Dora Carpenter's "Top Five Pitfalls of Grief" at
Dora Carpenter, certified grief coach, certified life coach, and founder of The ANIYA Group Life Coaching Center, is known for challenging you to move from grief to gratitude and motivating you to do so. She has worked in the death care industry for over 14 years and has appeared as a guest on podcasts, radio, and television.
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