~ Mary Oliver
In the compelling account of grief delayed that appears below, a man describes what happened to him when his reaction to a significant loss was postponed for many years, rather than experienced, expressed, and fully felt at the time. Reprinted here with the author's permission, this story serves as a powerful reminder that, no matter when a death occurred or how long ago it happened, it is never too late to do the work of mourning.
In October 1979, I lost my girlfriend Jan in a car accident. I was 18 and had just started college. She was 17 and a senior in high school. I came home for midterm break to the news – it had happened the night before.