It is generally agreed that aside from normal grief there is complicated grief. This is identified in an individual when they are in denial of their new reality or refusing to accept their life as it now exists, or unusual struggle to accept life as it now is. Often this involves one major factor, living in the past. Some people may have a huge difficulty in living in the present when a significant other dies, or the loss of a way of life that was primary in their existence.
How do we identify ourselves or someone we know and care about who is living in the past? First, if it is us who is living in the past, we may not recognize our problem. This is then is the time to trust someone close to us who is able to see our life objectively. We need this person to tell us when we are not living in the present. You see, when someone is living in the past, there is no room for the present or the future.
Let me illustrate this with a story of history. When I was in the military, I had a bad habit that prevented me from moving forward in my life. So, I made an agreement with a friend. An agreement is like a commitment or a covenant with another person. Anyway, I made this agreement that whenever he saw me act in a way contrary to forward living, or contrary to the new life I was living, he had my permission to stop me then and there. Of course he did so very kindly and gently.
Secondly, when we speak and refer to everything in our past and our actions mimic our life as it was in the past, not now as it is today, it is a good indicator that we are living in the past not in the present. Live for today a life that reflects current events, not past history. This is Sunrise