Here’s something I’ve learned about grief and how to help people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. We tend to be there for grieving friends immediately after their loss and for at least a short time thereafter. Very important, no doubt about that. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that many of us don’t understand how long it can take another to grieve the loss of a loved one. After a few weeks or months, we assume that our grieving friends are doing better than they may be. I believe it’s as important to support a grieving friend weeks, months, perhaps even years, after his or her loss. It’s so important to have support when the shock has worn off, denial has waned, and our friend is in the process of really understanding and dealing with the profundity of his or her loss. Providing that kind of support is difficult in this day when we are busy in our own lives; it’s perfectly understandable how we let doing so fall through the cracks. Yes, it’s difficult, and yes, it’s still important.