#Askingforafriend: Myths about grief

By Kiesha Collins
GCU Office of Student Care
#Askingforafriend

Death and loss are a natural phenomenon in the cycle of life, and yet knowing this rarely makes the experience of losing a loved one painless. It creates a myriad of emotions in our hearts and minds, from shock to anger to sadness and more.

Because grief and loss are hardly discussed in our culture, many misconceptions are formed with how to “appropriately” grieve.

Let's dispel several common myths about grief:

● Grief is universal, so the experience of grief is the same for everyone.
False. Everyone copes with losing a loved one differently, and so there is no right or wrong way to move through the grief process. Some individuals grieve through crying, some grieve through sharing memories of their loved one and some grieve through silent prayer. Mourning and grieving is an intensely personal process. It is important to experience and express our grief in a way that feels congruent for us.

● There is a time limit on grieving.
False. It takes time to process and adapt to a life without your loved one. For some individuals this may take months, while for others it may take years. Though research shows that the passage of time helps us move through our journey of grief, there is no predetermined set amount of time that dictates how long we “should” mourn.

● I can’t experience happiness while grieving.
False. Many people worry that if they find moments to laugh, smile or feel happy, they are not fully honoring their deceased loved one(s). However, this is simply not true. We are allowed to experience joy even in the face of pain. In fact, it is normal and common to feel a multitude of emotions that contradict one another. It is possible to simultaneously feel angry and relieved, happy and frustrated, or grateful and sad. The complexity of our emotions when losing a loved one is a part of the grieving process.

● The goal of grief is to move on with my life.
False. The goal of grief is to mourn and process the loss in a way that enables you to accept your loved one’s passing. This does not mean forgetting about this person or never hurting when thinking about them. As we cope with the loss, we learn how to create a new life while still being able to keep our loved one’s memory alive.

There are many ways to process grief after the passing of those we love. Remember, you are allowed to grieve and mourn loss in your own unique way.

The journey of grief is constantly changing, but if you notice that you are remaining stagnant or feeling stuck, it is OK to reach out for help during your time of need. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to help mourn the passing of a loved one.

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Bible Verse

Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:22)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/