Grief Has No Timeline

Grief Has No Timeline

Certain things need an expiration date. Milk, eggs, butter, flour, bread, meat, fish… there is a time we need to be done with them, and throw them away… I get all that. But does grief have an expiration date? For some reason, there seem to be an acceptable shelf life, 6 – 12 months, and then grief should be off the shelf, out of the home and permanently removed with the weekly trash service.

For people who have not experienced a close death, maybe grief has an expiration date – otherwise they would know the truth. No one wants somebody they love to die. So, until faced with reality, it’s easier to think ‘this won’t happen to me, and if it does it will only be bad for a short amount of time and then… there’s an expiration date and it is magically all gone’.

Some family and friends expect you to “get over” grief as soon as possible. The reality is you won’t be over it, nor should you be. If somebody spent years loving another person, the pain of that person’s death simply will not be removed due to a date on the calendar.

The opposite actually might happen – people who are grieving may feel even more pain 5, 10, 20, 40 years after the loss of their loved ones. That’s the reality. It is normal. And it’s okay because there is no one way to grief, and no certain order, and no timeline. There is definitely no expiration date.

Sometimes, the thought of your loved one missing a special day or milestone in your life, makes you sad. Yes. That’s the reality. Grief never fully goes away. That doesn’t mean you can’t and won’t live a happy and productive life. What it means is that the life you shared with loved ones lost, doesn’t have an expiration date.

On this day 29 years ago, I lost my mother, Esther Olabisi Akinwale. I am grateful everyday that she was my mother. I cherish with joy all the important life and business skills I learned from her.
I will treasure forever, my last day with the woman who raised me.

She was loving and kind in all her ways,
Upright and just to the end of her days,
Sincere and true in her heart and mind,
A beautiful memory she left behind,
She had a nature you could not help loving,
A heart that was purer than gold;
And to those who knew her and loved her, her memory will never grow old.



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