Grief is a lifelong process. We often think of grief as being something we "get over", "move on from" or "deal with". But grief is more accurately a process that is lifelong. Now it doesn't always look the same or feel the same, but grief always comes back around. We've all likely heard of the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. No one has to go through all 5 stages and they are not walked through chronologically or in some linear fashion. Grief is messy and it looks different for everyone because we are all unique and all experience loss in a unique way. Certain holidays, anniversary dates or circumstances may trigger memories and the grief reappears. Items, songs, people can trigger one's grief to resurface. When I'm counseling with an individual or a couple, we always discuss life losses. The losses in our lives affect us, affect our relationships, and it's important to honor them. It's important to remind ourselves that grief is not a one time thing, not something we experience for one year following a loss and then never again. Grief always comes back around and that is normal. The healthy thing to do is to feel it and process it, honor the loss in some way, honor the relationship we had and have with the one we lost. Counseling can be a powerful tool in the healing process of grief. We never fully "get over" our losses but we can heal and learn to incorporate the losses into our lives in healthy ways. If you're feeling particularly stuck with a loss, life change or transition, I encourage you to seek counseling; learning to grieve and allowing yourself permission to do it can be a powerful tool for healing!