Myths About Grief

Myth: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it.

     Trying to ignore your pain, or keep it from surfacing, will only make it worse in the long term. In order to begin working through grief, it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal or work with it.

Myth: It takes one year to resolve grief.

     One usually doesn’t “resolve,” “get over” or “finish grieving”. It is more a matter of adapting to a life without your loved one’s physical presence. Going through the process of grieving and adapting to the loss of a loved one, can take at the very least, a year and sometimes two or three years. There is no time frame for grieving. The grieving process differs from person to person.

Myth: It is important to “Be Strong” in the face of loss.

     Feeling sad, frightened or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family or friends by putting on a brave front. Showing your true feelings can help them, and you.                                     

Myth: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sorry about the loss.

     Crying is a normal response to sadness, but it is not the only one. Those who don’t cry may feel the pain just as deeply as those who do. They simply have other ways of showing it.

How can you help when someone you know experiences a death of a loved one?

  • Call and visit often.
  • Recognize that the grieving process takes time.
  • LISTEN, and encourage your friend or family member to express and share their feelings; allow them to talk about their loved ones.
  • Resist the temptation to recite cliches… “It was for the best.”  “It was meant to be.”  “At least they didn’t suffer.”  Instead say, “I’m sorry. ”  “I am concerned and I want to help.”   “Can I help you with the groceries…the laundry…the gardening?”
  • Remember the family at holidays, birthdays and at the anniversary of the death.