DEAR HARRIETTE: An industry colleague passed away about a year ago. I expressed my sorrow at the time, and that was that. Now, though, I am beginning to feel real sadness about this man’s death. While we were not close, he had an impact on my life. Little things have been happening recently that have brought him to mind. I wonder if I didn’t allow myself to truly think about this man at the time of his death. I think I treated it pretty lightly. Now I am sad, but nobody really wants to talk about him anymore because so much time has gone by. How can I deal with my grief? It feels real. -- Delayed Grief
DEAR DELAYED GRIEF: Feelings of grief emerge in their own time. What surprises many is that waves of grief can surprise you months and years after the loss. You are not unusual, nor should you feel uncomfortable that this is happening to you.
Since you are not finding other colleagues who will discuss this man’s passing, you can do other things to deal with your grief. You can write about him and what he meant to you. Write a journal entry that you can refine and refer to whenever you feel compelled to do so. You may want to write an op-ed for your local paper that talks about his impact on you and the community. If you use social media, you can share your sentiments in that space. If sadness seems to be overwhelming you, consider seeing a grief counselor who can support you as you deal with the emotions that are emerging. You do not have to be alone as you go through this moment.