While grief is a universal experience, the mourning process varies from family to family and from culture to culture. What I am referring to as the mourning process are the rituals that most of us grow up with about how to behave and how to speak when confronted with a loss.

In essence, mourning rituals can be referred to as habits or paradigms. These habits or rituals are usually not questioned. They fall into the same category as holiday rituals or work rituals, etc.

While there is a certain level of comfort in doing what has always been done, there can also be discomfort or confusion if the ritual really does not resonate with those immersed in the actual grieving process.

In other words, doing and saying what has been the family or cultural standard in the past may really not feel authentic and real for those who are spiraling through their grief process.

One very common belief surrounding grief and loss for many people is that..."it takes time to heal grief."

Think back, if you have recently experienced a loss. You have probably heard this or said this to someone else who is grieving.

Now, really allow yourself to feel your feelings abut healing grief just taking time. Does this feel true? Does this make sense? Do you wonder how long is enough time to heal grief?

Do you know people who are still grieving after 10 or even 20 years? Do you also know people who seem to have moved beyond their grief in a very short period of time?

How can someone really be moving on in their life in just a few months? If it takes time, how can this be? And what about those who grieve 10 or even 20 years? Is that the "normal" time frame? And then, what about the very real fact that many experience of being able to instantly return to the moment their loved one passed as if it just happened. Does that mean they are still grieving?

My conclusion is that grief is not at all about time. Healing grief has nothing to do with time. Healing grief is a process, a very individual and personal process. But this grief healing process needs to be nurtured and allowed to emerge without the shroud of the mourning cloak of the "shoulds" of the past.

Awareness is the first step in the grief healing process. The paradigms and habits begin to break down when viewed through the eyes of honest questioning.

Authentic grief healing is possible when allowed to unfold naturally within the crucible of awareness and acceptance.

Author's Bio: 

Sandy Clendene provides tools for authentic and effective grief healing in her recently published Move Beyond Grief Journal. www.movebeyondgriefjournal.com