It is a sad fact of life that at some point we will all lose someone we love. And because the period of sorrow following such times is often confusing, some people can fall prey to certain myths about grief and bereavement. This article describes some of the most common misconceptions about grief. Hopefully, this information will help you overcome them and better understand how to help yourself or others heal.
- There is a predictable and orderly progression to the experience of grief: Many people have heard of the 5 stages of grief made popular by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. For those who are not familiar with this work the stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and ultimately depression. However, Kübler-Ross never suggested that this cycle happened in the same way for everyone and in the same order every time. In fact, some mental health professionals are beginning to rethink the entire Kübler-Ross model. Bottom-line: Everyone experiences grief in their own way and in no special order.
- Tears expressing grief are only a sign of weakness: Tears are a natural way to release tensions that can be overwhelming and that can even cause our body’s physical harm in held in too long. This applies to children and adults and to both sexes. If you are grieving have a good cry. It helps.
- Counseling always helps: Unfortunately, counseling does not help everyone who is grieving. Counseling seems to help mostly those who have been grieving for quite some time.
- Women grieve harder: Men and women may grieve differently, but there is little evidence that women grieve more than men.
- It takes about a year to “get over” a significant loss: Some people experience grieving long after a year has passed. Thus, there is no set schedule for how long a person will grieve. It all depends on the individual and the circumstances surrounding the loss.
Ultimately, we must remember that death is a part of life as is change. Things will change with the passing of our loved ones but this is a part of what is natural and we as human beings must confront this. We can take solace in the idea that we can express our eternal love and devotion to the departed by tokens such as custom wind chimes and an engraved tree marker. These are lasting symbols of our respect for our loved ones.