The 100,000 dollar question. "How long will I grieve?"
About a month after my husband died I went to my first support group with my neighbor. We went around the room and everyone gave their name and how and when their loved one died. When my turn came I could not speak. All I could do was cry. My neighbor told my story.
I don't believe I will ever forget a widow who was there who stated that her husband died two years ago and that the second year of grief was harder than the first.
I thought to myself, "I am never going to make it."
I made a decision then to read every book I could find on grief, take classes, go to support groups, whatever I had to do to get through this as fast as possible. But what I found out is that grief has its' own agenda. And as much as you tell yourself, "I'm okay now. I'm healing. I'm finding my "new normal." Grief will over take you when you least expect it. You may be walking down the isle of a grocery store, or driving down the road in your car, and it sweeps over you like a wave from the ocean.
Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." God cares for the brokenhearted and will lift us up in our time of need and in time, our mourning will be replaced with peace and joy. Grief is not something any of us want to experience, but since we don't have a choice, we might as well embrace the lessons we can learn along the way. Maybe we will become a little wiser and we can use the experience we have been through to help someone else in their time of need.
And how long will this take? As long as it takes....