Some time ago I asked on my Facebook page, “What are the greatest myths of grief that are bandied about?” It caused a flurry of responses which I’ll share with you shortly. What was interesting is that many of the myths began to morph into the hurtful things that people had said reflecting and reinforcing just how misunderstood and unsupported we can often feel as we grieve.
~ myth. A traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some event, with or without a determinable basis of fact. A false collective belief.
Grief myths are such because they are based on someone else’s beliefs, understanding or their personal experiences. They are not ours. So if it doesn’t fit what’s happening for us and many don’t and won’t, it becomes essentially an untruth – an untruth based now on our own experience. We’ve lived it. We’ve been there.
Here they are with the most common ones first and it’s no surprise that the number one slot goes to time.
Time heals all wounds….With time it gets better.
It gets easier…..things will get better.
You’ll get over it.
They are in a better place.
You need to get over it quickly and move on.
Life goes on.
Your family will be there for you.
There’s a time limit to grief – 1 year. 1-3 yrs then you’ll be ok.
God never gives you more than you can handle.
Keep busy that’s the best thing, then you don’t have to think about it.
There’s an order to grieving and an end to it.
The firsts are the worst.
If you try harder you’ll feel better.
One day it won’t hurt so much.
Stop trying to remember, it’ll make it worse.
Holding on to your memories and missing will keep your loved ones here and stop them from crossing over.
It goes away.
It will give you closure.
Remember that everything happens for a reason.
By reading this list it would be easy to crumple with despair and hopelessness, especially if people are saying some of those things to you and that’s what’s getting you from one moment to the next….your hope for easier, for better.
Grief does change in intensity. It meanders and flows, it rises and falls. The loss of a loved one also changes who we are and that loss sits in our hearts forever. Grief is not something that we are done with like a “to do” list. We can’t screw up the sheet of paper and toss it in the bin. It becomes part of who we are. Our loss sits alongside our life and it impacts us deeply. But it doesn’t mean we can’t live again. It doesn’t mean we can’t take pleasure in simple things. It doesn’t mean we won’t have happy moments again. We can do all of those things with our loved one always in our heart.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.