Nobody goes through life without experiencing grief. Let’s unravel 5 misconceptions about healing after experiencing loss or trauma.
If grief stays taboo, we’ll never fully understand it. It’s time we get comfortable talking about loss! Join us as we clear up 5 misconceptions about grief that could be holding you back from recovery.
Grief is Misunderstood
Grieving is a natural reaction to loss. We’re talking raw, unfiltered, 100% organic-almond-milk kind of natural. So how can something so natural to the human condition go so misunderstood? For too long, our culture has labeled death, loss, and grieving as taboo. It’s time we get comfortable talking about it so we can set the record straight. Let’s clear up five misconceptions about grief recovery.
5 Misconceptions About Healing After a Loss
1. You can only grieve if a person has died.
This is simply untrue. You can grieve a loss of any kind. In fact, there are at least 40 known losses that a person can encounter in their lifetime. This could be the death of a person, or it could be a divorce, financial challenge, moving to a new town, losing a pet…The list goes on. The point is, if you’re grieving, you’re grieving. It doesn’t matter what you’re grieving. It’s valid no matter what.
2. Most people you know won’t deal with traumatic loss.
The opposite is true! Everyone at some point in their life will have a grieving and/or traumatic experience. Consider this: There are about 2.6 million deaths every year. That’s 2.6 million people, each of whom has at least four or five loved ones who will grieve them. That makes 13.5 million grievers every year—and that’s just those who are grieving the death of a person.
3. Your healing process always fits into the 5 stages of grief.
We all wish it were as easy as checking the boxes. “Denial–check! Anger–done! Bargaining–yep! Depression–covered! Now I’m ready to accept!”
The concept of the five stages of grief may be useful for some people. If that’s you, wonderful! But the reality is, if you’re having a hard time fitting your experience into each stage, don’t sweat it. Your healing journey is just as legitimate whether you skip a stage, go through the stages out of order, or spend years in just one stage.
4. Grief is just sadness.
It’s actually much more profound and multi-faceted than “just” sadness. Your experience may feel like a deep longing, a circle that just won’t close, or something beyond what any words can describe.
Grief can be a rollercoaster of emotions far beyond simple sadness. You may find yourself laughing one minute and crying the next. You may find yourself completely blank for hours on end. That numbness, or lack of emotion, can be part of the rollercoaster ride.
Grief can have real physical effects, too. You might find your sleep patterns disrupted, or a change in your eating habits. Both an increase and a decrease in appetite are normal reactions to grief.
5. Eventually, you’ll get closure.
What is “closure,” anyway? If it means closing the door on your relationship with the person or place you are grieving, then closure may not be something you even want.
Instead of closure, consider completion. Completion refers to a complete healing process. That means there is no “saying goodbye.” Instead, you say “hello” to a life in which you can honor and miss your loved one without feeling pain.
That means happy feelings will return, and you’ll begin to feel joy again. That joy can extend into your memories of who or what you’ve lost. Your experience is yours only, and only you can know when you feel recovered. Without these five misconceptions holding you back, you’ll be freer to grieve in a way that feels 100% natural and authentic to you.
Don’t Grieve Alone
If you are trying to navigate a confusing season of grief after a loss or a traumatic event, you are not alone. We see you, we know you’re hurting, and want to offer you a safe place to share your story and feel supported in your healing journey. Contact us today to set up a free discovery call and spend some time with us – we’re here for you.
Sharon Brubaker is a certified Life Coach and credentialed Grief Specialist who, along with her team, teaches women who are grieving how to process their thoughts and emotions. To learn more about navigating grief within the family, listen to the full podcast episode here or download my free e-Book, The Griever’s Guide, which equips you with the tools to live life after grief; because no griever should have to navigate a broken heart on their own.