He was talking to me a while ago about getting over Guai-Guai's disappearance. He's a bit surprised that it had been less than a week and he'd already started to "get over it". And he said that he was also okay with Grandma's death in a short time as well — heh, we were goofing around in bed the morning after (no sexually explicit material; I'm not like that, sheesh =), but the debilitating sadness was pretty sporadic. I guess he thought that because he didn't feel sad longer, it meant he didn't love them as much as he ought.
I pointed out that losing someone who was suffering, as Grandma did, was always going to come with a little relief and the feeling that the death was actually a good thing, which is easier to accept. At Grandma's age and condition, that was the reality of it.
The bird... well, what's happened has happened. We've done everything we can to try to find him and there has to be a cut-off point where we say, "okay, that's it, he's gone". We couldn't keep escalating the search effort and our Rainy Day Fund — though I must say, is impressive for us — isn't bottomless.
No one can tell you how to grieve, for how long, in what way. It's highly individual in each case.
His grandfather, though, is a different kind of loss.
Grandpa was in town this last week and is slowly showing more and more signs of dementia. He's headed back to Taiwan now, but ... what a week. He forgets that Grandma is gone and keeps demanding to know (sometimes angrily) where she is. He blurs people together, often we're not sure if he's talking about Mother-In-Law, Grandma or his caretaker lady. He'll also transpose the caretaker lady and Grandma. He'll open the door, walk outside for no reason we know of and try to open other peoples' car doors with whatever is in his pocket (loose change?). He definitely can't be left alone.
He's still coherent when he's well rested. He asked me when we were going to Taiwan next and we had a pleasant conversation. But when Grandpa is tired, he starts hallucinating. It's very common in the elderly, but it scares everyone around them. Several times, Grandpa kept saying there were little kids. "What are those kids doing in our yard?!" ... there were no kids. Then he saw kids in his room and on his bed.
The night his jetlag hit the hardest, he completely flipped out about "the other people in the house", reamed us all out for renting out the house to other people (we're not renting anything out) and they were all stealing his stuff (he's already taken all his valuables with him the last time he was here). And he'd forget that he'd already yelled at us about it and repeatedly blew up several times about the same thing.
Watching a loved one deteriorate, mentally or physically, hurts just as much as actually losing them.
This is something Husband Guy hasn't experienced and I have limited exposure to. I offered to help him find a family support group or a counsellor or something if he needed someone to talk or someone who can help.