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Top 5 Grieving Myths

Since everyone’s loss is unique and everyone grieves in their own way, there’s no way we can accurately make up rules and guidelines on how to grieve. Nonetheless, people will try to do so anyway in an attempt to “tidy up” the process and corral people through their grief cycle. Hence there are infinite number of grieving myths circulating about what society deems to be normal grief terms. It’s important to recognize that these myths exist so that you understand it’s okay if and when you experience feelings contrary to the myths. Here are 5 of the most common myths about grief, debunked.

1. It’s Important to Keep Busy

Many people think that keeping busy will help to take the grieving person’s mind off of their loss. While it’s great for people to try to get out of the house every once in a while, if you never take the time to reflect on your loss and actually allow yourself to grieve, you’re just suppressing the grief and settling for a temporary fix.

2. Grieving Takes Everyone ‘X’ Number of Days

Society likes to talk about the 5 Stages of Grief because it makes it easy to categorize something as complicated as grief. Now, I’m not saying that the stages themselves are a myth, but I think they create a misleading picture about what grief looks like for each person. Not everyone is going to go through the stages in the same order or spend the same amount of time in each stage for that matter. And who’s to say some people won’t relapse and come back to a stage after it has come and gone once? Everyone takes their own time to grieve and there’s no right or wrong amount of time to grieve.

3. Nobody Will Understand

Everyone’s loss is unique. Think about a mother who lost her child in a tragic car accident. Everyone who knew the child is going to grieve his loss, but each for a different reason. His mother is experiencing a different type of loss than his brother, different than his best friend, and different than his girlfriend. Everyone is experiencing loss, but the mother is the only one grieving the loss of her child. For that reason, it’s common to fall into the mindset that ‘nobody will understand because nobody else is experiencing my pain.’ True, nobody else is experiencing the same loss, but try to give people a chance. People do understand and they want to help you through your loss.

4. Grieving Should be Done in Private

It’s one thing to want to grieve in private, it’s another thing to feel that you have to grieve in private because you think it’s the right thing to do. If talking about your loss with a family member, a friend or a counselor makes you feel better, there’s no sense in depriving yourself of that relief.

5. Things Will Eventually Go Back to “Normal”

Expecting that your life will become normal after enough time passes is not realistic. You will eventually adjust to the loss and achieve a new normal, but waiting around for the day when your life is the same as it was prior to your loss is not fair to yourself or those around you.

If you ever read something or hear something that suggests that your grieving practices are abnormal or that you’re not going about it the right way, chances are you’ve uncovered another grief myth. That’s because there is no normal or right way to grieve. If you remember nothing else about grief, remember that.