Debunking Myths about Grief and Loss

debunking myths about grief and loss

As we move through our lives, sadly we must cope with loss. Everything from retirement to divorce and death can be a type of loss, and cause many emotional effects. We all experience loss in our own way, and grief manifests itself differently for everyone. There are many myths about how people are expected to cope with a loss:

MYTH: If you ignore the pain, it will go away.

Attempting to bury the pain of loss is a natural reaction for many people. This denial doesn’t help the healing process at all. In fact, it only slows the process. With the help of Ottawa Counselling Services, you can gain the tools to reconcile your grief and learn to move forward in the new reality.

MYTH: If you show signs of grieving, you are weak.

Many people, especially men, fear that showing outward signs of grieving is a display of weakness. They feel that they should remain strong and not cry or acknowledge feelings of sadness, loneliness, and uncertainty. These feelings are a common part of the grieving process and in no way represent weakness. You show your strength not when you suppress your emotions, but when you acknowledge your true feelings and seek the support from family, friends, and a certified counsellor to help you reconcile your grief.

MYTH: If you don’t cry, you aren’t grieving.

Every person reacts to loss in their own way. There is no “normal” when it comes to the grieving process, and everyone expresses their grief in a different way. If you do not cry, it does not mean that you feel the loss any less than someone who has a more intense visible response. Some people have outward expressions of anguish, and others simply do not.

MYTH: You should be over it by now.

Everyone heals from loss at a different rate. There is no timeline to follow, and no proportional value assigned to healing. You might grieve longer for a beloved pet than someone else does for a lost grandfather. Both reactions are completely legitimate. You can’t fast forward the grieving process or expect to follow a predetermined healing schedule.

Ottawa Counselling Services can equip you with the tools to navigate the healing process and begin to reconcile your grief following a loss. Coping with loss is never easy, but you can learn to acknowledge grief and emotional pain as a necessary counterbalance to the joy of life.