I am often asked what it means to be over something-what does that even look like? While it is often an unsatisfying answer, I answer that I don’t know. Each person experiences grief and trauma in a different way. Recovery can depend on your prior history of grief, how sudden the event is, and your support system. Some people never get over certain events in their lives. That can be okay if you are able to find a way to move on with your life. If your grief impairs your overall functioning it may be time to seek help.

For most people I suspect that “getting over” something is the point where whatever happened to you no longer has the emotional impact on you that it once did. With grief it can mean no longer having the physical reaction many people experience when thinking about their loved ones. It can mean no longer having the thoughts of the trauma repeat in your mind every day or every week.

The second question is how do I move on? The answer is get support, talk about it with others that understand, and just live your life day to day. Often one day you will just wake up and realize that you had a day that was different from before. Getting support from others who have had the similar experiences is important. Inevitably others that haven’t experienced a similar loss think you should get past things much faster than most people do. The most important thing is to allow yourself time to have whatever process you need to experience. No one can tell you how to grieve or move on.  Each person needs to determine that for themselves.