Grief is something we will all experience throughout life.
Grief is something that we will all experience throughout life. Despite it being so common, grief is very misunderstood. Misconceptions often make the person who is grieving feel hopeless & alone, while friends & family feel confused or upset by the things they don't understand.
Learning the facts about grief can help someone who is in the grieving process.
9 Common myths:
1. Grief has an end point & once you're done, life will "return to normal".
Assuming that grief has a timeline or an end point is a common misconception about grief. We each take things at our own pace. It's okay to take your time, to feel your feelings & really work through the grieving process.
2. Women grieve more than men and/or men never want to talk about their grief.
Gender or age doesn't matter when it comes to grieving. Each person is different, but they always need someone to lean on. Let them know you're there for them, or make sure they have someone they are comfortable talking to.
3. You can only grieve a death.
Death isn't the only thing we grieve. We also grieve the loss of trust in a loved one, a loss of job, a break up, etc.
4. Your friends & family will always be the best support.
Friends & family aren't always the best support for us. Sometime a therapist or grief counselor is better to talk to than a loved one.
5. Someone who experienced the same type of loss will be supportive & understand what you're going through.
Assuming that someone that experienced the same type of loss as you will understand exactly what you're going through is a common misconception. Not everyone processes grief the same.
6. Certain types of loss are inherently "better" or "worse" than other types of loss.
Comparing someone's grief to your own grief isn't productive, nor helpful. Whether you're grieving the loss of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss, you are allowed to grieve & you're allowed to work through it at your own pace.
7. Young children don't grieve, they are resilient & you don't need to worry about them.
We are often told that children don't process grief like adults do. This is simply not true. Children understand grief, loss, sadness, etc. They understand when a loved one is gone & they should be treated just like any other person grieving.
8. Once you get through all the firsts (birthdays, holidays, etc.) things will get easier.
First anniversaries after losing a loved one are hard, but it doesn't automatically get easier from there. Each person is different & we cannot assume that because it's the second anniversary or twentieth, it's easier.
9. Being reminded that your loved one "wouldn't want you to be sad" is helpful.
We can't control our sadness or grief, so saying something like this often makes things much worse because it also places shame on the person that is grieving.
We will never fully understand what someone else is going through. If you or a loved one is grieving, make sure you truly understand what you (or your loved one) needs.
Don't rush your grief. Don't be hard on yourself if your grief isn't following certain steps or guidelines. We are all unique & there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.