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Independence is this month’s trending topic, as Americans prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July – one of the biggest celebrations of freedom in the world. 

How does the concept of independence relate to grief?

At its core, independence is  

“freedom from the control or influence of others or things.”

But it begs the question – Can we ever truly be free from the influence grief has on our lives after a death loss?

The short and simple answer to this is no.

The grief after a death loss is something that remains for the rest of our life. If we choose not to acknowledge it or find help, it still won’t go away. It will appear throughout one’s life, often with no warning and no schedule.

Many people and scholars would like us to believe that grief has an expiration date and that after one completes a certain number of steps, it will disappear.

But in reality, nothing can stop grief from rearing back into one’s life. Even when pushed away, there will always be songs, smells, foods, places, sounds, an article of clothing, and more that bring a person’s memory back to the surface. It can be a familiar sound, a place, a look that someone may give – anything to trigger the memory and the loss.

None of this is meant to be discouraging.  

Grief is the ultimate expression of love. A death loss does not remove our relationship with our person – instead, it changes that relationship. While their physical presence is removed, the relationship can still be nurtured.

Our ultimate goal is not to be “free” from grief; rather, it could be to accept it for what it is and embrace it. In doing so, we can achieve a healthy post bereavement growth.

At HealGrief, we have so many tools available to support you. From Interactive Q&A’s to virtual conversations, videos, reading materials, a Vodcast called Let’s Talk Death, and more. These are all accessible at HealGrief.org and on the AMF App, where grieving individuals can connect with a community of others who have experienced a similar death loss.

Our goal is to provide the tools and resources to help one’s lifelong journey with grief.

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