In the same way that it is not always possible for someone to eat when they are hungry, it is also not always possible for them to embrace how they feel after a loved one passes on. But, while they will most likely be able to ignore their hunger from time to time without it having much of an impact on their life, the same can’t be said for ignoring how they feel after a loss.

If someone ignores their hunger pangs, it will probably only be a matter of time before they reappear and are fulfilled. One will then have ignored them at one point in time, but they won’t ignore them at another.

A Different Experience

If someone ends up ignoring how they feel after a loved one has passed on, they might end up embracing how they feel a little while later. Then again, they might continue to ignore how they feel as time goes by.

Embracing how they feel, on the other hand, will allow them grieve the loss, with this being a process that may last for a number of years, not months. Naturally, this is going to be the best approach for them to take.

Out of the Way

However, even if one doesn’t take this approach and they ignore how they feel, it doesn’t mean that their feelings will continue to appear. As time goes by, they could end up losing touch with how they feel.

Not only can this happen, but one can forget about what was taking place for them when they lost a loved one. One will then have lost a loved one, yet it can be as though this moment has been wiped from their life.

Another Form of Communication

Still, just because one can lose touch with how they feel, it doesn’t mean that their body will no longer try to get their attention. Their body will no longer be able to do this via feelings, but it can do this via physical pain.

For example, one may find that they start to get headaches, have stomach aches and/or that they have breathing problems. They may also find that they have the tendency to feel flat and as though they have no energy.


If they are unable to link what happened with what is now taking place for them, they may end up going on tablets. This won’t resolve what is taking place in their body, but it might take some of their pain away.

As pain is typically seen as something that needs to be removed as opposed to explored, it could be said that it is not a surprise that something like this would take place. One may then be able to carry on as normal.

Out of Nowhere

Even if this sorts them out for a few months or even a few years, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be reintroduced to the grief that is within them at one point in time. Something small might trigger it or it could be something that is fairly significant.

If something small triggers it, one might wonder why they are reacting so strongly to something that shouldn’t have had such a big impact on them. No matter what has happened, it will have brought up how they felt when they lost a loved one.


Irrespective of how much time has passed, the emotional experience will be as raw as it was all that time ago. What plays a part here is that even though their mind has a sense of time, their emotional body doesn’t.

They could end up crying a lot, lose motivation and the will to live, and they might feel the need to withdraw. It will be as if their whole personality has completely changed, so much so that some of the people in their life might find it hard to comprehend how different they are.

Down but Not Out

The time will now have come for them to face how they feel and to work through their grief. Holding all this pain in will have taken a fair amount of energy, and now they will need a lot of energy to undertake this journey.

If they try to avoid what they are going through and to push it out of their awareness again, they might not get very far. Even if this approach does work, it won’t be long until this pain comes up again with even more ferocity.

Delayed Grief

If one was to look into why they didn’t face this grief when they lost a loved one, they may find that the pain was simply too much for them to handle. Alternatively, they may have had to take care of other family members at the time.

Due to this, there would have been people around them who needed a lot of support, preventing them from being able to be there for themselves. It is unlikely that this was something they thought about; it would have most likely just happened.


If someone has realised that they are experiencing delayed grief, and they want to work through it, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

Author's Bio: 

Teacher, prolific writer, author, and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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