How long does grief last?


How long does grief last?

Hello. My dad died from cancer coming up to ten years ago when I was 17. He had been ill for a couple of years before and had been operated on a number of times alongside all the usual cancer treatments. At the time my mum was also ill and as the eldest sibling of a brother and sister, I felt quite a weight in caring for my mum and going through the bereavement of my dad. It is only recently, after almost ten years, that I have begun to realise that I experienced quite a significant trauma in my teenage years with the death of my dad and subsequent illness of my mum. I never considered myself as a career to her but I took on the responsibilities of parent in the years that followed my dad's death and I now realise that I was caring for my family. At the time I had no support beyond extended family at the weekend and I was also offered no bereavement counselling. In the years since his death I have increasingly struggled to cope with the sense of grief and I have begun to feel quite severe anxiety and panic attacks to the point where some activities have become almost impossible. Instead of feeling the grief lesson, I feel as though it is in fact getting worse. I have recently, decided to look into CBT for my anxiety and bereavement counselling to deal with unresolved issues. 


If anyone has any advice or any insight into this, I would greatly appreciate it. 

Frequent Contributor

Re: How long does grief last?

Hello Ellad,

I am sorry to hear about the struggles through your earlier days, it sounds like your only starting to really process and become aware of your feelings quite recently. I think suppressing those feelings and thoughts in your youth has caused the panic attacks and anxiety, especially if the event happened during a impressionable period, where self emotional intelligence hasn't quite evolved completely yet. All those feelings were bottled up.

Grieving may have stages but those stages do not have timescales, a person only passes through those stages with self development and realization. (From my side it will take years for me but that's okay, we have the time). It's fantastic that your seeking counselling, you have already taken the first step into healing.

Please keep us updated, do you have a pet that brings you smiles for example?


Re: How long does grief last?

Hi Ellad

My thoughts are with you.

You had such a lot to cope with at such a young age. We can only stay strong for so long to the outside world until it all becomes too much...

People told me how strong I was and I'm actually struggling. I am having anxiety issues since Gorans death.

I too am about to see a psychologist and have just started meditation classes. If it wasnt for my beautiful daughter I dont think that I would still want to be here.

I wish the best for you. I hope that we will both get the help that we need.

Good luck



0 Kudos
Post new topic
Talk to a health professional
Cancer Council support and information 13 11 20Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
Cancer Information and Support

Online resources and support

Access information about support services, online resources and a range of other materials.

Caring for someone with cancer?

Find out what resources and support services are available to assist you.