WHAT IS GRIEF?
"Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss."
"Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behaviour."
The problem for many people is that even though grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss, what we learn in society is that these feelings are abnormal and unnatural. Grief is the most neglected and misunderstood experience, often by both the grievers and those around them. They will often give you logical reasons why you should not feel bad, but that rarely helps. Grief is emotional and not logical! You are suffering from a broken heart, not a broken head! The fact that you are seeking help in dealing with that emotional pain is not a sign of weakness, it's an action step to healing and completing unresolved grief.
WITHOUT ACTION THERE IS NO CHANGE!
What is unresolved grief?
Unresolved grief is almost always about things we wish we'd said or done differently, better or more. It is also about the unrealized hopes, dreams and expectations we had for the relationship. Finally, unresolved grief is about undelivered communications of an emotional nature.
Types of Grief
There are over 40 different types of loss, some of which include:
- Death of a pet
- Starting School
- Death of a former spouse
- End of addictions
- Major health changes
- Financial changes - positive or negative
- Empty nest
6 Common Myths About Grief
The Grief Recovery Institute has identified six major myths about grief that are so close to universal that nearly
everyone can relate to them.
Myth #1: Don’t Feel Bad
Even though grief and all of the emotions associated with it are normal and natural, we have been told many times to not feel the way we feel. Feeling bad is a normal response to loss and it is important that we give ourselves permission to feel.
Myth #2: Replace the Loss
Each relationship is unique therefore each loss is unique. Relationships are not replaceable or interchangeable.
Myth #3: Grieve Alone
Many of us grew up being told if you are going to cry go to your room. Some of us don't want to burden others with our feeling. Communicating the truth about how you feel is one of the healthiest things you can do for
yourself when you’re grieving.
Myth #4: Time Heals All Wounds
After a loss, we often hear things like, “it just takes time” or “time will heal”. These statements give us false hope. The truth is, time in and of itself does not heal your emotional pain, it is the action you take within time that does.
Myth #5: Be Strong for Others
When we’re grieving, we tend to hide our emotions so we can be strong for others. The problem of acting strong is that it unintentionally sends a message to others that they too have to be strong. The most helpful thing you can do for others is, to be honest. By telling the truth about how you feel, you give permission to others to do the same.
Myth #6: Keep Busy
After a loss, we are often told “just keep busy”. We distract ourselves so we don't have to deal with the emotions that may arise. This often leads to physical and emotional exhaustion and only helps to avoid our grief. To truly heal from loss, you must be willing to go through the pain in order to move beyond it.
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