How long do we grieve?

My friend died of terminal cancer in June.
I had known him half my life and it was like losing a brother, since then I have just lost focus in my life.

I was made redundant shortly after his death and have had to focus on my new job, but really I’m just going through the motions at work and feel like saying “sod it all.” And just quitting to take some time off and find another job next year…
I can’t shake this empty feeling I have developed, like nothing really matters.
I imagined that I’d feel somewhat better by now.?

Hi toby,

Sorry to hear about your friend dying. Plenty of people on this site will tell you that there is no time limit on grieving.
My mum died 16 weeks ago and I’m a mess, having cried every day since. I only returned to work yesterday. Of course, this is my mum which was a different relationship to you and your friend. However you sounded like you were very close. In my 20s I lost my best friend to cancer. I was devastated and took several months before I felt ‘normal’ again.
Grief is unique to everyone and each person’s relationship with the person that died. I’m suffering much more with the loss of my mum than I did with the loss of my dad for example.
Accept that you could be grieving for a long while to come and dont hold back your emotions or place expectations on yourself.
I talk about my mum alot, and hate it when my daughter and partner havent mentioned her. I accept that they are grieving too, just in a different way to me.
Can you talk with your friends family? Or a mutual friend?
I have recently started bereavement counselling but it’s too early to see if this will help.

My mum died 6 weeks ago. I have never knows a pain or feeling like it. People want me to go back to work. Which I did yesterday. They want me to go for a walk or run to help with my mental state. I just want to grieve I feel like screaming. I don’t want to feel anything apart from thoughts of my mum. I want to cry I want to sit and think. I imagine here everywhere I picture her standing by a tree and I wave. I’m going blinking nuts but I don’t care. Just do what feels right for you and take one day at a time I’m told

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For me, the simple answer is Forever.

However (I love an however!), I think it’s good to have something else to focus on. Grief can be all consuming and eat you up. Stick with your job Toby, focus, make your friend proud. Sending love and strength xx

Hi Toby J. I am so sorry for your loss. I also lost my best friend to cancer, she was my younger sister. We shared a life history, knew each other better than any one else could, supported each other through the bad times, laughed and enjoyed the good times. She was my soul mate and every day person.
In many ways you did lose a “Brother.” Long term, close & loving friends become our family.
I relate to your feelings, of wanting to retreat from the world, because it is just too painful. I have a demanding job, and like you, I lost focus. I agree that nothing else matters now. Your loss is more recent than mine, but even a year on I still cannot accept that I will never see or speak to her again. Other friends are important, but they will never fill the void left by that one special person who brightened our world.
Try not to make any major changes in your life while you are in such a deep state of grief. I also wanted to pick up and move away, but our feelings go with us no matter how far we run. Post on this site, and vent whenever you need to. Hold your friend/brother close to your heart and let him guide you, I call out to my sister every day. Take care, Sister2

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Hello Toby. Believe you me there are plenty on this forum that can relate to exactly how you are feeling, so don’t despair. It seems to be what we have to go through to hopefully, eventually, come out the other side.
I too felt, that as much as I love Brian I would have been able to function a bit better by now but it doesn’t seem to happen like that. Grief has no mercy we have to struggle through all the emotions that we never expected.
Don’t give up your job, keep going it will give you something to think about and when you feel ready then have a look around for other employment that will suit you better. I felt just like you and wanted to do a runner but I don’t think it works like that. We can’t run or get away from grief. I keep telling myself that I have to be the one to leave it behind. That is not to say I will be leaving my husband he will still be there with me just as your friend will be with you but we will remember them with happy memories and not the empty loss we have now. Hang in there.