The intense feelings of grief can come back, unannounced.
Even when the intense mourning is over and the loss of the loved one is fully accepted, many “firsts” may touch off a new round of intense and possibly unexpected grieving: the first holiday, birthday, anniversary, and other family events. The grief response may lessen on these particular anniversary days as years pass, but it may not go away entirely.
Many unexpected things can touch off a memory.
Grief surfaces, too, at the most unexpected promptings: a sight, sound, or smell that reminds you of your loved one; learning about the death of someone you don’t personally know; songs on the radio, television programs. Emotional responses to unexpected triggers can be distressing. It can help to know that this is a normal part of the grieving process.