Myths About Grief and Grieving
Grief is the emotional suffering you feel when you lose something or someone you love. It’s a natural response that can cause you intense emotional pain that at times it can be almost unbearable. It’s important to remember that grief is a process that will not only affect you emotionally but mentally and physically, as well. Here are some myths about grief and grieving.
The Five Stages of Grief
The first step to learning more about the myths that surround grief is understanding the five stages. Each can be experienced slightly differently from one person to the next, and some experience one stage longer than others. They are:
- Denial – This is a feeling that you can’t accept what’s happened. You may think, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”
- Anger – You know what anger feels like. At this stage, you might think something like, “Why is this happening to me. Who’s at fault is it?”
- Bargaining – During this stage, you will likely feel vulnerable and helpless. If you’re a religious person, you might ask God to make the pain go away or bring back your loss. You might say things such as, “If you stop this from happening, I will ______.”
- Depression – Just as it sounds, this is a period of sadness. Everyone will experience different levels of sadness and sometimes it comes and goes. You may think, “I’m too sad to go on or do anything.”
- Acceptance – This is the stage that you have accepted the loss and come to understand what it means for your life. Remember, this doesn’t mean that you will never be sad over your loss again, but it should come and go, rather than be constant.
Myth: If You Ignore the Pain It Will Go Away
Going through the grieving process is a difficult thing but ignoring your pain will only lengthen and potentially amplify your emotions when you finally deal with it. Acceptance is a necessary step in the grieving process that you need to go through before you can begin the healing process. Seeking help from a psychotherapist can be of great help throughout the process.
Myth: It’s Important to Be Strong
Feelings of sadness, fear, and loneliness are normal reactions to loss. You should never be ashamed of your feelings, and expressing your emotions can help you and your loved ones. You are not weak if you aren’t always able to be the strong one in the face of a loss.
Myth: If You’re Not Crying, It Means You’re Not Sad About the Loss
People react to and express grief in all sorts of ways, and it’s not always through tears. Although crying is a normal response, it’s not the only one. Just because someone isn’t crying, it doesn’t mean they’re not feeling pain. They may just have a different way of showing it.
Myth: There’s a Set Time Period For Grieving
The truth of the matter is, there’s no specific time frame for grief. In fact, the grieving process can last for years. Just be sure that you are continually addressing your emotions and continually healing as time goes by. If you’re feeling as if you aren’t able to cope with your grief, make sure you seek help from your friends and loved ones, or you speak to a grief counselor.
Myth: Moving Forward With Your Life Means You’ve Forgotten About Your Loss
Moving on doesn’t mean you have forgotten about your loss. It means that you’ve accepted it, and this is a crucial step in healing. Although you feel that you’ve gotten to this point of moving forward with your life, you will always keep the memory of your loved one in your heart.
Relying on legal counsel, like wrongful death attorneys in the Bay Area, can help you reach this stage and continue to heal. So can friends, family and support groups. As time goes by and you grow as a person, this experience helps to shape and define the person that you are.