What to Do When Your Head is Ready to Move on but Your Heart is Not

By: Les Fee
Monday, May 30, 2016

One of the greatest challenges with grief, both for the bereaved and for the friends and family trying to offer them support, is that so much of it defies logic. It’s beyond language and beyond reasoning.

For that reason, it is important to recognize the vast differences between your head and your heart when you are grieving. As you move through the process, these two forces will rarely be in sync. In time, your mind and your heart will find peace together as you adjust to your new normal.

The Calendar is a Guideline, not a Rule

A very common thing a bereaved person will hear is, “It’s been months since you lost your loved one. It’s time to move on.”

Time is a very subjective thing and very logical thing, contrasted with the complex emotions of grief. Grief is deeply personal, depending on the person, the nature of the relationship with the deceased and the circumstances of the death. To the outside observer, it may seem that you are not reaching an “appropriate” milestone if your grief is still raw after a certain amount of time has passed. There is no timeline for grief.

For some people, it can take months after a loss to even begin fully experiencing grief. It can depend on the time of the year as well. What you have to understand is that grief ebbs and flows; one minute you think you’re fine, and the next you’re not. That’s normal too. Don’t place pressure on yourself to be “done” grieving, just because time has elapsed. You’ll find peace in your own way, in your own time.

Clean out Belongings

A very hard task when you’ve lost someone is to sort through their belongings. This may have been something that you’ve been putting off doing, simply because it seems like a bigger job than you can manage right now, or because it might be too emotional.

This practical task is a great way to try to get your head and your heart on the same page, if only for a few hours. Invite others to help. They’ll help with the actual work of sorting through and cleaning out things, but they’ll also be there with you to laugh and cry as you reminisce.

Experience the Grief

Grief, unfortunately, is not something that you can walk around. You’ve got to let yourself fully experience it, pain and all, to process it and move toward healing. A lot of people unknowingly prolong their grief by trying to reason their way out of it. Surrendering to grief is a scary proposition, but it is your best bet to connecting your head and your heart in order to heal.

You don’t have to experience the pain alone, though. Our trained, caring staff at Fee & Sons Funeral Home can help provide you with the support you need during this difficult time and beyond. In Killam, AB, call us at 780-385-3642.


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