The Main Reasons Why the Second Year of Grief Can Be the Worst
When you are going through the grieving process, everyone will tell you that grief is not a linear process. While there may be stages that everyone will go through, not everyone experiences grief in the same way. Grief can also be experienced in waves, coming and going without any rhyme or reason. This is why the second year of grief often hits individuals harder than the first.
The second year of grief can be the worst for a number of reasons. First, the initial shock and numbness that accompanied the death in the first year may have faded, replaced by more intense pain. Second, many people feel guilty in the second year because they think they should be over the death by now. And finally, the second year is when you really start to think about letting go, and this can bring about some intense emotions.
While the second year of grief may be difficult, there are things you can do to manage the emotions you are feeling. First, it is important to understand that there is no timeline for grief. Grief looks different for everyone, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Second, reach out for support from friends, family, or a therapist. Talking about your feelings can be very helpful.
Finally, try to put your feelings in context and remember that you won't feel this way forever. In this guide, we will explore some of the reasons that the second year of grief can feel more intense and what you can do to manage these feelings.
The shock and numbness fades
In the second year of grief, you no longer have the shock to cushion the blow. The reality hits home and you are forced to confront some very intense emotions. The first year is often a blur and it can be hard to remember what happened. This is because our brains are designed to protect us from pain. When we experience something traumatic, our brains go into survival mode and release hormones that help us to cope.
As the shock fades, we are left to deal with the pain. The reality of the situation sets in and it can come as a second wave of shock. It's important to handle these feelings and not try to suppress them. A lot of people feel guilty or ashamed that they are still handling the grief, but it can take a long time to fully come to terms with grief.
The second wave of shock can also be triggered by anniversaries or other events that remind us of the death. These reminders can be very painful and can cause us to relive the trauma all over again. It's important to be prepared for these triggers and to have a plan in place for how you will deal with them.
Letting go becomes a reality
Another reason that grief can feel more traumatic in the second year is that many people realise that it is finally time to start letting go. This can be a very difficult and painful process. In the first year, it is often too soon to start thinking about letting go. We are still in shock and trying to come to terms with what has happened
In the second year, we may start to think about what our lives will be like without the person who died. If it was a partner, we might start thinking about moving on. If it was a parent, we might have stopped having the urge to reach out and catch up. Processing these feelings can be incredibly difficult.
It's normal to feel guilty about moving on and letting go. We might feel like we are betraying the person who died. We might also feel like we are not respecting their memory by moving forward with our lives. It is important to remember that grief is not a linear process. Just because you are starting to think about letting go, it doesn't mean that you have forgotten the person who has passed. Remember that the person would want you to be happy and start to rebuild your life from there.
Sadness might be replaced by anger
Grief can stir up some complex emotions. In the second year, you might find that sadness is replaced by anger. This can be very confusing and frustrating. You might feel like you are not allowed to be angry because it has been too long since the death.
You might also be angry at yourself for leaving things unsaid or for not acting in a way that you are proud of. For example, it's common for people to feel angry toward their parents after they have passed away if there was any childhood trauma that they haven't dealt with. You might feel anger towards yourself for not spending enough time with your grandparents before they passed away.
It's important to understand that there are no right or wrong emotions when it comes to grief. All of the emotions you feel are valid, but you need to be prepared to deal with them so that you don't hurt the people around you.
Support starts to fall away
In the first year of grief, the support might be more readily available and people around you might be more understanding. But in the second year, you might notice that the support starts to fade away. People might start to get impatient with you or they might not understand why you are still struggling.
This can be a very isolating feeling. It's important to reach out and ask for help when you need it. There might be support groups or counselling available in your area. Sometimes, just talking to someone who understands what you are going through can help to remind you that what you are experiencing is completely valid.
Speaking to a professional in this situation is one of the best ways to find the support you need. This will provide a judgement free environment for you to express how you are feeling.
There is no shame in admitting that the second year of grief has been tough. It is a normal part of the grieving process. Remember that you are not alone and there is help available if you need it.