Delayed Grief

girl looking over shoulderHi Elsa,

Do you have any experience with delayed sadness? Is there any astrological connection in your opinion which sign, placement leans more toward it?

D From Croatia

Hi, D. I’ve never considered this before but I have some ideas.

First, I doubt you could identify this tendency from a natal chart because the way a person reacts to loss would change over the course of their lifetime. The type of loss is another variable.

  • Death of a loved one?
  • Divorce?
  • Loss on the career front?
  • How about straight up disillusion with life of the loss of a dream?
  • Loss of freedom

Glancing at that list, I see associations to the 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th houses, at a minimum.  Then you consider a person’s maturity as well as what they might be experiencing in the moment.  My guess is that delayed grief would most likely be shown by transits.

As an example, a small child may lose a parent to death or divorce. Let’s say they’re two years old. It’s likely to be years before they comprehend their loss.  Abused children may be in a similar boat.  You can be going along just fine and the some transit comes along and it hits you.

As for what transits might trigger a person; Saturn to the moon or 4th house comes to mind immediately, but there are many other possibilities.

To answer your question signs and placements; these things might have some play, but I would be inclined to look at transits for an explanation. Two things come to mind, immediately.

First, a person may postpone grieving because they are in a state of overwhelm. I see this all the time. People will multiple rough transits. It’s like owing money to ten people and you can only pay five of them.  Obviously, payment to the other five will be delayed.

The second common scenario would be denial of the loss or denial of the magnitude of the loss.  Take rejection. A person may deal with it well, up until they don’t. Rejection #140 does them in; and their hit with a wave that knocks them off their feet.

What do you know about delayed grief?

17 thoughts on “Delayed Grief”

  1. I experienced delayed grief with my father passing. Not because I didn’t need to at the time of his dying, but due to an interruption in that process and then having to arrange everything beyond that as well as call all his friends and family. It hit me hard and to this day has not really gone away. Of course I don’t think grief ever does go away. It just changes-ebbs and flows.

  2. Interesting. I wonder about the inverse as well. Like if you are estranged from a parent in adult life due to repeated abandonment in times of crisis throughout decades. When that parent passes maybe the loss and grief were already experienced so their passing isn’t a dramatic shock. Would this also show in a birth or transit chart?

    1. Super interesting. I can speak to this because I’ve lived it. I knew I had no family by the time I was fifteen. I knew it even harder by the time I was 19.

      I grieved the loss of both parents ’round the time of my Saturn return. My my life exploded and landed me in weekly therapy for three years. I can’t say that I fully understood my losses post that time but I fully accepted them, whatever they were.

      When my parents did pass, well I didn’t grieve my father at all. I didn’t celebrate or anything. It was a non-event.

      In my family there is a very strong, “you go your way and I’ll go mine” streak. I do not wish anyone in my family harm. Actually, I do not wish anyone in the world harm.

      My mother’s death was sad for me but the “loss” had be processed, years prior.

      As for the astrology, again, I would tie this to transits. Let’s say again, we’re talking about harsh transits. You want your MOM but she’s incommunicado for whatever reason. You will feel this lack or this loss, deeply; and perhaps be forced to reckon with it at that time.

      This is what happened to me. The emotional work was done but intellectually, there was more to understand. I’m not sure I will ever grasp it entirely but I don’t feel bad about any of it and it’s a nice way to live as far as these things go.

      1. Elsa,
        I’ve got Saturn/Moon conjunct in the 10th natal here. With lots of recent and ongoing 4th house stuff opposing that placement lately. Pluto for the long haul and Saturn retrograding back into the 4th. So I’ve been living it too which is what is making me so deeply interested in this topic, I suppose. My parents have a similar “go your own way streak” but there is also an element of harshness and judgement (up on high in the 10th?). It’s a recurring situation of abandon then stand in judgement at how crises are dealt with. My little family and I have been through a lot lately. Still dealing w/ a springtime wildfire. It’s definitely the type of thing to make a person want to never deal with these particular family members again. So will I be sad when they’re gone? I doubt it. It’ll be a non-event. Like w/ your Dad. Nothing to celebrate. Nothing really to grieve. It’s a loss that’s already been grieved over and over.

        Your insight is kind of how I’m getting it too. Maybe a theme of a certain type of grief (recurring maybe) is found in the birth chart. But through the transits, which are so variable depending on so many differing factors shows how we tend to deal, or not deal, at different times throughout our lives. This is a really interesting topic in how it relates to grief and how we all experience it.

        1. “This is a really interesting topic in how it relates to grief and how we all experience it.”

          I agree! I’m glad I got this question. It’s given me a lot of ideas.

  3. In my experience, if you lose a particularly loved one, particularly (Heaven forfend) a child, you will grieve, perhaps a little below the surface, for the rest of your life…When that is visible depends on your astrology…Virgos, in my experience, will hold such things in..Pisces will not…

  4. In regards to very small children, infants, etc losing a parent, this can be completely unprocessed and passed on unconsciously. So it gets processed by the next generation – most often it skips a generation and then manifests in some form.

    1. When you get older you understand mentally but you don’t- emotionally, at least I don’t, I was one year old. It’s a festering wound that doesn’t go away and during younger years it would always get worse on Christmas and on school end festivities.

  5. I am 27 and just lost my best friend of 10 years and hurt is so much. I’m natal Libra Sun/Moon 3rd house, Leo rising 12th.

  6. When my mom passed a few years ago I got hit with a surprising amount of grief – surprising because she wasn’t the greatest mom (alcoholic when I was young, self centred, critical). We had made our peace in the last few years and I did eventually feel close to her and called her weekly. When she passed on I cried almost every day for a year – I believe I was crying for the mom I never had…

  7. I had delayed grief but I wouldn’t be able to associate it to a transit, too complicated for me. It was due to feeling relief at my mom’s passing. She had alzheimers, and it was a relief when she passed. She just wasn’t “her” any longer, she wasn’t able to “be”. I felt she knew this, in the small moments of lucidity the disease gives. I know she knew how it was affecting her so when the time came, I felt she was free to be again. The grief came (still comes) later, when I processed (mercury?) that she’s no longer in my earthly daily time frame of living. But, she comes to me all the time, she shows me elevens. So weird, never believed that was a thing until it happened to me.

  8. But, curiously, when I looked at transits during the time frame she passed, there were mostly supportive aspects, so, a reflection of my mind frame at the time?

  9. In my – limited – experience, Jupiter transit, to the deceased loved one,
    and/or to one’s own chart, helps immensely in the grief process.
    Much love, from me.

  10. I could see grief being delayed just because someone is still trying to wrap their heads around it. They’re still in shock. They haven’t processed the reality of what it is that just happened. Or maybe they’ve put up defensive emotional walls because they’ve been hurt. It might take them a while to relax and really process. Or, it might not be delayed at all, it might just appear to be delayed, because grief is not linear. They could have been dealing with varying aspects of grief all along, but it just became apparent to others. As for the astrology of that…I’m not sure.

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