One does not let go of a loved one just because they have died. They live still, in the hearts and minds of those who remember, miss them, or have unfinished business. Grief is most acute where the loved one filled a void not yet filled. The side of the bed, where once a warm body breathed and snored, now cold and empty. No one to talk to, share with, fuss over. Shattered plans, with the one, perhaps, that was to make them possible now gone. The grieving one feels bereft, deserted, unloved and frightened. They must start anew on many fronts, but how? So many comforts, assumed to be solid, now vaporized. Some ache for a long time, and if the ache cannot be filled, many follow the beloved into death. A type of suicide, as chronic grief kills.
Is this good? Your therapists tell you it is important to grieve, to get it out and dispel it, and they are, of course, correct. Repressed emotions poison. It is the next stage that is most often neglected - rebuilding a life. The dutiful wife, placing flowers on a grave year after year, has not filled her life with the care of others. Are there no others about who need her care? She has not looked, or noticed. Refusal to rebuild a life is seldom what it is purported to be - devotion. This is a cover for what is really going on - reluctance and denial. Rebuilding means stepping into new territory, testing and proving oneself, taking risks, facing rebuffs, getting burned. So much easier to take flowers to the grave and get admiring nods and smiles from the community. So devoted.