There is a saying, "The longer the time bomb ticks, the closer it comes to an explosion." The same is true with the pain of unresolved grief or emotional losses. Through isolation or cover-up, some people move away from the very feelings they must face in order to heal.
When you bottle up (or: freeze, numb, suppress, hide) feelings caused by loss or pain, it's like starting the timer of a time bomb. In the beginning, the bomb ticks softly. The ticks represent pains or problems experienced by people who are unable to successfully heal and grieve. The longer a person bottles up painful feelings (instead of processing them), the closer he or she comes to some serious life-damaging consequences. Ticks of the bomb do progressively approach explosion.
How do you diffuse this time bomb?