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How Do I Know I Have Grieved
By Vicki Straughan, LMSW. Director, GriefWorks

Do you know that there are no orderly stages of grief? (Then you have experienced and reexperienced the feelings that accompany grief.)

Have you acknowledged the death? (Then you have moved beyond disbelief.)

Have you acknowledged that you will not experience the same “normal” ever again? (Then you have searched and yearned for “your life back” and understand that it isn’t to be.)

Has your concentration improved?

Are you able to organize your life in your “new normal”?

Are you able to make decisions?

Have your physical symptoms subsided?

Are you no longer forgetful?

Are you able to think of others? (Then you have been through “hard grief.”)

Can you say you have allowed yourself to feel all the feelings you encounter in your grief?

Have you identified and grieved secondary losses?

Have you thought or used the term, “I think maybe I’ve turned a corner.”?

Do you have more good days than bad days? (Then you continue to grieve, but the grief is less intense.)

Do you have some thoughts of your loved one that bring a smile?

Do you have dreams that, when you wake, leave you feeling comforted?

Do you sometimes consciously go somewhere, do something, or tell a story to revive and reexperience your relationship with your loved one?

Are you able to remember your loved one realistically? (Then you are ready to revise your world.)

Are your feelings more in control?

Are you looking forward to the future?

Have you developed new interests?

Do you feel comfortable talking about your loved one using words in the past tense? (Then you are ready to reinvest, form a new identity, or create the next part of your life.)

Do you feel like yourself?

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