There comes a time after you have lost a loved one when others want you to move on. Some think it is unhealthy for you to continue grieving over someone who has died. Although misguided, at least these people have your best interest at heart. Others are just uncomfortable with death and want you to get over it as you would a cold or the flu. They want you to put it away in a little box so that they do not have to feel awkward whenever they see you because they do not know what to say. This subject begs the question “Is there a time to move on.”
It is important to realize that you are the authority on the subject of your recovery time. No one can, nor should tell you how and when to feel better, when to get over it, or when to move on. No one except you had your experiences with the deceased. No one can possibly understand the depth of your experiences with the deceased. No one knows your ability to overcome the loneliness and sometimes fear associated with your loss. At times, you may even feel anger. Anger at the deceased for leaving you alone, anger at yourself for something you did or did not do before they were gone, anger at others for something they did or did not do. Feelings of anger are natural and are quite often followed by feelings of guilt. Guilt can be destructive because it can damage self-esteem. On the other hand, it can be motivating in that it may encourage you not to repeat such actions ever again. Most often though, guilt feelings are actually feelings of regret. If you realise that your guilt is actually regret, your self-esteem may recover more easily.
If you have a friend or loved one pushing you to move on, analyse their motives. If their motives are purely in your best interest, take an objective look at your situation. Has your grief become debilitating for an extended amount of time? If so, it may be time to seek out a source for counseling. Debilitating grief is called complicated grief. Once things have become complicated, it might be advantageous to have someone help you regain order in your life. Remember, the death of a loved one requires a completely new structure in your functionality. It may take quite some time for you to adjust to your new requirements in life. Statistically, it takes on average, 3 years for a widow to recover to a comparable level of functionality after the death of her husband. Unfortunately, for a widower, the outlook is a little bleaker.
The most important things to remember are that you will never forget your loved one, you will never stop loving your loved one, and you will never replace your loved one. There will most likely come a time when you will be able to overcome the devastation of your loss. A time when you will be able to function in your daily activities without crying or withdrawing. Nevertheless, when you love someone, they are forever a part of your existence. In other words, we never move on, we simply live on.