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Mental Health

Stop Giving Me A Timeline.

I am sure we have all received this line at least once in our life after we experience a loss, “You can take all the time you need to grieve.” I honestly despise hearing this statement because usually the speaker has a “time period” set for you in their own mind and if you grieve past their set period, then they are beyond frustrated with you.


There are two major events in my life were a timeline was placed on how long someone should grieve.


The first was when my best friend unexpectedly lost her boyfriend the summer after eighth grade. His death took everyone by surprise, but it affected her the worst. She struggled with a lot of pain and emotions that overwhelmed her at the thought of him. The first few months of her grief journey, people comforted her and repeated that she could take all the time she needed to overcome such a sudden loss.


However, their sympathy ran out once her grief continued for over a year. She had passed their acceptable timeline for experiencing grief. It took her three years before she could properly continue her life without breaking out in tears and the people that originally comforted her, they ignored her and were often irritated by her when she asked them for help. During her journey, she was isolated because of the pain she was still feeling and often received rude comments behind her back such as: “Why can’t she just move on from him? It has been two years, he isn’t coming back.”


The second event was when I was going through the break-up with my ex-girlfriend. It was a traumatic experience for me and it took me a long time to properly recover from it. However, when the news first spread throughout our shared friend group, there were people that comforted me with the phrase,”Oh, honey, I am so sorry. You need to take all the time you need to grieve this.” I know that they meant well, but they still pushed a timeline on my grief. For a month, everyone was supportive, but it took me over six months to fully grieve.


By the end of the first month, I lost a lot of friends. They were tired of me crying over the same pain and I was often met with “You need to get over this! This is honestly pathetic.”

I tell these stories to show you whether it is subconscious or not, we often push timelines for grief upon other people. This is something that needs to be addressed and corrected.


We can’t judge how deep a person’s pain runs and we shouldn’t even feel like that is something within our power. Grieving is valid and can’t be time stamped, nor should it be. Everyone handles and experiences grief differently. This is their pain, not ours. We can’t read what is going inside their mind and we should be respectful towards their journey. Be their shoulder when they need one, even if it is over the same topic of pain, they just need someone to listen.


To those that are grieving the loss of a family member, a beloved pet, close friend, or significant other, it is honestly okay for you to take all the time you need to heal.


Allow yourself to fully feel the pain and loss because if you try to lock it away, it usually creates an opposite effect than what you were expecting. Pretending the pain isn’t there, it hurts you deeper and creates a deeper wound that would take even longer to heal. 


If no one else has told you, I love you and you got this. Be aware of your actions and slowly we can promote a kinder and more loving existence. 

spencer || writer in hercampus at wesco || you can find them in the common's area on campus. they are usually studying, listening to music, reading, writing, or sleeping. they are a cancer zodiac, so basically they are sensitive and emotional.
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