"Perhaps they've been in their grief for a while. There are two questions that will need to be addressed at some time or another. They are different, even strange:
"1) Has the person committed himself/herself to a certain amount of time to grieve? Some do that unintentionally and some do it intentionally. One may have heard that it takes two years to grieve if it is a natural death, three for accidental death. Don't let any of these suggested time frames dictate recovery time. Don't set a time frame unless it's all the time that was needed. Keep it open-ended.
"2) Has the person given himself/herself permission to stop grieving at a given point in time in the future?
"Think about it. People in grief will need to give themselves permission to stop grieving. Throughout grief they will say goodbye to the one they lost, and eventually say goodbye to grief." (Manning, 1979)
Norm continues, "Remember, life is a series of hellos, goodbyes, and hellos."
Then, Norm quotes from Joyce Rupp in her book, Praying Our Goodbyes:
"Most goodbyes carry a sense of sadness, a feeling of 'I wish it wasn't so.' Do we ever look forward to goodbyes or get used to saying the word? Probably not. Many goodbyes lead to heartache. The word 'goodbye,' originally 'God be with you' or 'Go with God,' was a recognition that God was a significant part of the going. Perhaps we have forgotten that along with the journey we gain strength when we remember that the Giver of life is there to protect and console, especially when the goodbye is because of death (Rupp, 1988)."
"The Most Damaging Myth
"The myth with the longest-lasting and most hurtful consequences is this: you must let go of and sever ties to the deceased, find closure, and get on with your life. Closure usually implies closing the door of memories and the relationship. Not possible. True closure really means
"(1) accepting the absence of your loved one's physical presence,
"(2) releasing willful suffering, and
"(3) letting go of your old life while accepting the new one in a different relationship with the deceased.
"Adherents to the monster myth of 'letting go' have usually been heavily influenced by those in the mourner's support system; these care-givers have grown tired of the ongoing pain and repetition of the grief process and want you to 'get on with your life.'"