The Truth About Grief: Myths and Facts And How You Can Cope

The Truth About Grief: Myths and Facts And How You Can Cope

Grief can be an excruciatingly painful and lonely experience. This can be further compounded by grief myths that suggest your reactions and behaviors aren’t normal. My hope is this article will extinguish some of the shame or fear these myths generate so you can be free to grieve in your own way and in your own time.

“Each persons grief journey is as unique as a fingerprint or snowflake.” ~ Earl Grollman.

HERE ARE 5 OF THE MOST COMMON GRIEF MYTHS

1.   Your grief experience will follow five predictable stages – Not true. 

Whilst there are a number of useful models identifying various stages of grief, these are not fixed progressive patterns, just common experiences for some bereaved people. Grief is in reality a messy, disorganized experience that simply can’t be put into a box.

grief myths

2.   You should be over your grief within a year

There is no normal, no right or wrong length of time to grieve. Whilst you, or meaningful family and friends might want some sort of closure,the reality is your grief can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, or it could turn up periodically throughout your life. The grief process is not static, it’s always evolving.

3.   Healthy grieving requires you to behave in a certain way

There is no correct way to respond. You might cry, and feel overwhelmed with sadness. You might want to spend more to time on your own or surrounded by people. Your emotions are likely to be constantly changing as you ride the wave of grief. There are no shoulds, no right way, only your experience of grief.

4.   Real grief is only experienced when someone you love dies

If you perceive any event to be negative, and it causes long-term changes to your social situations, relationships, and how you see yourself in the world, then you will experience grief. The list of challenging life changes is endless. From relationship changes, business or job loss, illness and chronic pain, moving house, children leaving home, and menopause to name a few.

5.  If you hold onto memorabilia, or continue talking about the person or experience, then you are stuck in the grieving process

You need to be able to remember and talk about your loved one, they are in a sense both present and absent in your life. Healthy grieving is about meaning making – creating a narrative of who they have been in your life and taking the essence of this into your life moving forward.

LETTING GO OF GRIEF MYTHS

Your grief experience is unique to you. Like waves of the ocean there will be times when your emotions overwhelm you, and times of relative calm and peace. Here are some ways to help you ride these waves more easily:

♥  Look after your health

The emotional distress you are experiencing can take a toll on your physical well-being. Be careful to get adequate sleep, and if this is difficult take daytime naps, or just rest. Eat healthy food and plenty of water. Go for short walks, outdoors if you can, the fresh air and movement will lift your spirits. Avoid excess alcohol or medications to numb the pain – avoiding your emotions in the long term will exasperate your grief experience.

♥  Talk

Don’t keep your thoughts and emotions bottled up inside. They need to be voiced for you to begin the healing process. If you don’t have someone you feel comfortable sharing with then see a counsellor.

♥  Reach out

Initially you might need some to yourself. But eventually you will need to connect with others. So be careful about the temptation to isolate yourself. Catch-up with a friend for coffee or a movie, or invite a family member over dinner.

♥  Nurture yourself

 Treat yourself with the compassion you deserve. A long hot bath, a massage, playing with your dog, or spending time with a close friend. What have you done in the past to look after yourself?

♥  Honor your loved one

How can you do this in away that is meaningful to you? Maybe you could you create an album, frame a special photo, have a memory box of significant pieces, make a quilt from their shirt or dress, or plant a tree.

♥  Prepare for significant dates

Birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas can be very emotional times. Talk to family and friends in advance so they know your concerns and can support you on these dates. You might like to start a new tradition in memory of your loved one.

It takes strength to make your way through grief, to grab hold of life and let it pull you forward. ~ Patti Davis.

Grief is painful enough without adding grief myths to the mix. If you are worried about how yourself or someone else is coping then it might be complicated grief. To find out take the grief and loss quizAnd reach out if you know you need help. Counselling is very effective and will help you find hope and meaning in your life again.

Lets Talk

If you are feeling stuck in your grief, please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.

or if you are ready to book

Lets Talk

If you are feeling stuck in your grief, please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.

or if you are ready to book now

Mindfulness Quiz:
How present are you in your life?

Mindfulness Quiz:
How present are you in your life?

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