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Debunking Common Grief Myths

Posted on June 08, 2015
With so many articles about the stages of grief and recovery process, it is often difficult to wrap your mind around what to believe. And there are plenty of “myths” that we have all heard throughout our life that many people base their emotional recovery on; however, these myths can do more harm than good. 

 

MYTH #1Public display of grief should be avoided. 

While this seems to be a more typical response in men, avoiding public grief is common among both genders and can not only stifle emotional grief, but it can hinder grief recovery.

MYTH #2—If you don’t cry, it means you’re not really sorry about the deceased.

Although it’s normal to cry when someone has died, those who don’t cry feel the pain of death as deeply as anyone—there are many ways of coping and expressing grief.

MYTH #3— It’s best to work through my grief alone.

There may be times when a griever needs to be alone to release the pain, but suffering alone takes away the opportunity to recover with others who may be feeling similar. 

MYTH #4—I need to be strong for others. 

Many people believe that grieving is private and they should “be strong” for their family. In actuality, by showing your feelings and being open to your grief, you are helping others as well as yourself recover. 

MYTH #5—Ignoring the pain of loss will help me recover faster.

The hard truth is that grief will accumulate with time. Blocking pain can simply make it worse in the long run. It’s best to face it now, than to let your pain run your life. There is no timetable on grief. Each person will recover at their own pace, but ignoring it could lengthen the process.  

MYTH #6—If I move on with my grief it means that I’m forgetting the one who died.  

There is a big difference between moving on and forgetting. As you adjust to a new life, memories of your loved one go on with you and may be a healing part of your recovery.

MYTH #7—A helpful thing to say is: “I know how you feel.” 

Because grief is so individualized, it isn’t correct to say you understand, even if you have had a similar loss. Oftentimes, it is more helpful to listen than say anything.

MYTH #8—The loss is replaceable.

The loss you are feeling cannot be replaced by anything in your life, but you can heal and carry on with a scar. Death takes away someone or something precious and can never be replaced, but with time, understanding, and support, you can move to a better place.

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