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Why is there a time limit on grief?

Community Member

Hi everyone

not sure where to start! ok here goes

on the 5th of march my daughter was unwell, thinking she had really bad gastro I took her to our local hospital, they kept her in and later that night she had 3 seizures, we ended up being flown to RCH and told she had a clot and bleed on her brain, she was in a coma for 3 weeks then passed away on the 29th, she is now forever 8,

I miss her so much, life isn't the same now, then I lost my mum 4 days later,

i have a lot of why me days, I feel so alone, my husband is so angry with the world I feel like I can't talk to him as it only upsets him more, he has his brothers and friends to talk to, we don't talk to each other!

his mother keeps telling me I need to get anti depressants, I've spoken to my gp and I don't want them,

why can't I just be sad

I don't need to fix that with pills, let me miss her,

when does being sad and missing someone become depression?

Why is there a time limit on grief, I keep hearing oh it's been 3 months why are you still sad maybe you need to get some medication!

26 Replies 26

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Dory09,

I'm so glad you decided to post on the forums. You've been through a terribly heartbreaking period - first losing your daughter and then your mother within such a short period of time.

I lost my father on 26th March and there are days when I can't get out of bed or even think. I've been on antidepressant medication for 20 years for major depressive disorder, but the medication can't perform miracles if you're coping with the intense pain of losing someone you love.

I completely understand your not wanting to take meds. The grieving process is very important even though it's incredibly difficult and seems impossible to cope with at times.

It sounds as though you can't speak to your husband at the moment and that you don't have anyone to vent your feelings to. It does help to know you have the support of someone you can talk to openly and honestly who won't try to "fix" your grief.

I wonder if asking your GP for a referral to a grief counsellor or psychologist might be of some use to allow you to vent the built-up feelings you have, and provide some support while you're going through such a difficult time?

I've been seeing a psychiatrist for 16 years for major anxiety and depressive disorders, and since the loss of my father, having someone who will just listen to me and empathize, without trying to "fix" my grief, has provided a great deal of comfort and been enormously helpful.

I can't imagine how overwhelming it has been for you to lose both your child and your mother, and no, there is no time limit on grief -people process grief differently.

Have a think about speaking to someone outside the family about what you've been through and how you're feeling. You may find a few sessions with a kind and compassionate professional very worthwhile and ease the pain just a bit.

Take care, LH

Community Member

Hi Dory09, I'm so sorry you're going through that, I can't imagine.

I think you're totally right, feeling sad is completely normal.

I guess people are suggesting medication because they love you and don't want to see you hurting...

Do you have anyone else to talk to? Some sort of counselling could help - not to cheer you up, just to work through everything...

And welcome to the forums - lots of helpful people here.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Dory09,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for being here.

I'm so sorry to hear of your losses. I know that a lot of people have struggled through loss but nobody can really understand what you're feeling right now, so I'm not going to even try.

So instead I'll head to your question about why can't I just be sad - you're absolutely aloud to be sad, and you're absolutely aloud to miss someone. Frankly I think there'd be a problem if you didn't; your mother and daughter were such a significant part of your life. It's awful that they had to leave you and it sounds like it was rather unexpected too.

Grief has no deadline. We all grieve in different ways. The people that talk about 'getting over it' or 'why are you still sad' may say this with good intentions but they may have never experienced grief the way that you have. There are absolutely no rules here.

People often talk about getting anti-depressants because their grief is starting to affect their lives in a way that they cannot cope day to day. Their relationships straggle, their work suffers, it becomes too hard to get out of bed. Getting out of bed and coping day to day can become a nightmare for a person struggling with grief. I'm not sure if this affects you or not - but even it did, it wouldn't be about 'stop being sad' but instead finding a way to accept that this has happened and find a 'new normal'. People can have a significant loss in their life and still find a joy and laughter; it's not an either or.

If you did want to reach out (and that's completely up to you) certainly anti-depressants is one option but it's not the only one. There are lots of support groups that can help, reaching out to friends, and of course counselling. People often like to talk to counsellors because it's a place to listen non-judgementally and provide support. A good counsellor can help reinforce and remind you that grief and loss has no rules and no deadline.

You may even like to have a look in our section specific for grief and loss here -


Community Member

Thank you

we have referrals to someone just waiting for an appointment, we live in a rural area that can be hard to see specialists etc as they don't travel here or not very often

Thank you I will have a look at that link, v

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Dory, I have replied to your other post as you would probably know, and to feel this pain is actually what happened with me after an assault, ending up with a blood clot on my brain and then developed epilepsy, my injury wasn't as awfulas what your daughter had to cope with, and I'm just so terribly sorry.
I can't answer why the circumstances were different, I wish I could give you some relief on why, but it deeply upsets me that you no longer have her with you, and although it may not be any consolation to you, but my life has been changed enormously from the blood clot I sustained and it started with dealing with depression.
There is so much I would love to tell you if that was at all possible, but due to the sites regulations it's impossible, plus what I say I also have to be careful.
I absolutely understand why you don't want to start taking any AD's, because you're still grieving, but please remember that I am thinking of you, my heart goes out to you in every possible way. L Geoff. x

Community Member

Thank you Geoff

ive just got home from work so haven't seen your other reply yet,

there is no answer why and never will be, even her autopsy showed no answers, it's just a cruel world,

8 years olds shouldn't pass and no parent should out live their children,

my reasons for not wanting meds are many

watching my mum be miss diagnosed for most of my childhood and being on many AD that made things worse not better, has me wanting to avoid them if possible,

i guess what I don't know is when is sad not just sad anymore and becomes depression?

I don't feel I'm there yet! I don't know but hopefully get an appointment with a grief councillor soon.

Thanks for taking the time to reply


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Dory,

I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you and have been since I read your first post. I really feel for you - your grief and sadness must feel almost unbearable.

I understand it can be difficult getting assistance when you live in rural areas. Until you're able to see a grief counsellor personally, if you need to speak to a professional, or you simply want someone to listen to you, you could phone the Beyondblue helpline on 1300 22 4636. The staff are kind, supportive and have the knowledge and experience to talk you through your feelings. I realise life must feel like hell for you during this time, and speaking to a professional who can listen and allow you to express how you're feeling may help a little while your waiting for your appointment.

Take care, LH

Community Member

Hi Dory09,

My heart just broke reading your story, you need to g through the tunnel that is just sadness and feel crap, but is how hour minds work. You are so brave to have actually put it into word and given us the opportunity to share in your life. It is a major step as it will bring you relief. If I could give you a hug and hold your hand I would. Keep up the contact so your mind gets relief.I was told by a psych that most men express sadness through anger as it is their way of processing things and expressing thins being different to females. Take care hugs PMB