How long does grief last?

Carol Milardo Floriani
Hospice Nursing

Grief itself may last a lifetime, but one's coping skills are the key to its impact on one's life. Finding meaning in the loss, or finding a new perspective on the loss, often reduces the effect it has on or day-to-day living. Obtaining support through friends or the community when going through the acute grieving process helps one with coping and finding a healthy perspective.

The duration and intensity of grief varies among individuals. It often depends on what caused the person to grieve. The death of an elderly relative, although beloved, often elicits an entirely different response than the death of a child.

Children who never saw a divorce coming, for example, may be in even greater shock than children who witnessed their parents arguing daily.

Continue Learning about Grief & Emotional Health

How can I connect with a loved one who has died?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Paying attention to coincidences or unusual events is one way to connect with a loved one who ha...
More Answers
How can I cope with denial if I am grieving?
Michael E. Hirsch, MDMichael E. Hirsch, MD
Often it's easier to recognize denial in others than in ourselves. If you think denial might be inte...
More Answers
What should I do if my loved one has a deathbed vision?
David KesslerDavid Kessler
While at the bedside of my patients, I often suggest to family members that there’s no point in tell...
More Answers
What are the symptoms of emotional trauma?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Immediate psychological symptoms of emotional trauma can include hopelessness, anxiety, dissociation...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.