How Long Should One Grieve?

So my lady and I had a very interesting discussion today over breakfast. I mentioned to her of a former school mate of ours who had passed away. It had been many years since they had known each other but she had a vivid memory of him. I said that, personally, his passing kinda took me aback a little because I had run into him in town about four days before a full stop was put on his story.

What sparked the discussion is that I mentioned that I had sought to know the exact cause of his passing. To be honest though, I don’t know why I wanted to know this; maybe it was for closure; or to satisfy this deep seated desire that I have always had to want to save everybody. I am not sure…

So back to our talk; I told my babe what I had discovered in regard to, (Let’s call him Smith), Smith’s death. She asked me why I was so intent on knowing the details because truth is; the more I lingered and pondered over it, the longer I held onto that person and the more difficult it was for me to move on. This took me a little by surprise and for a moment I almost protested at just how callous and insensitive her statement was. Good thing the Holy Spirit intervened and told me to drop it.

During the drive to work, however, I really got down to meditating on what she said. The truth is that different people have different ways of dealing with grief and these, have different durations. For some, they pick up almost immediately like it didn’t happen while for others it is a more complicated process. I have seen some widows mourn their husbands for years and maybe never remarry but others have picked themselves up; opened up to new love and eventually remarry within a not so long period.

So my question is, is there a particularly prescribed formula for mourning and at which point do you know when you have crossed the safe line? At which point does it cease to be safe, healthy and recommended grieving, and one begins to flirt with depression?

I am curious…

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