Chapter 4: Finding your way forward

Challenges and surprises

I’ve been there
Pat talks about how grief changes over time.(3:22)Video transcript


At the first anniversary of his death, the memories came flooding back. It was very hard.

Many people who are grieving experience what may feel like a setback. An event or person may bring up a memory, and suddenly their feelings of grief are once again intense. For example, anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, or other special days may be reminders of your loss, as are any new experiences of loss and grief.


New knowledge about the person who died

If you have discovered information about your friend that you didn’t previously know, this can be a pleasant or unpleasant experience. Click the switch button to see examples and possible impacts.

Example #1Example #2

 You find out that your friend contributed in some way to the benefit of someone or something.


The impact on you?

This can bolster your good feelings about who they were.


 Disturbing information comes to light, such as an addiction or negative behaviour.


The impact on you?

You may question if you really knew who the person was.



What may help

Remind yourself that new “waves” of grief are normal and to be expected. They are not a sign that you are slipping backwards. You may be able to prepare for some but not for others. Knowing that they will pass can often help you get through them.

Give yourself time to take in any new information about your friend, and to grieve any new losses that come up. Over time, you will likely be able to blend this new knowledge with your understanding of who your friend was.