In the early 1970s, Memorex Corp. started the advertising campaign "Is It Real, or Is It Memorex?" featuring Ella Fitzgerald singing a high note so purely that it shattered a crystal wine glass. The next scene in the ad showed another wine glass shattering when a recording of Ms. Fitzgerald's voice was played. The thrust of the ad was that the clarity of Memorex recording tapes was so good that Ms. Fitzgerald's voice could shatter the glass whether her voice was live or was from the playback of a recording. From the glass's perspective, both the live voice and the recorded voice were indistinguishable.
I often hear of people giving bereaved people advice similar to “you just need some time, after all ‘time heals all wounds.’” Time does NOT heal all wounds. A more apt saying is “IT’S WHAT YOU DO WITH THE TIME THAT HEALS.” Like any other aspect of life, mourning is an active, working process, not a passive one.
We need to quit trying to distill the interpersonal and intrapersonal complexities of mourning into a simplistic set of dogmatic grieving stages. Rather, we should use newer, more descriptive models that better describe the process.