Anyone who has experienced loss, be it the death of a family member or a close friend, knows what grief is like. Grief can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with. It can even disrupt our lives by making it difficult to return to our normal routine, concentrate at work, or even do simple things like eating and sleeping.
Grief can also be confusing, as each person may deal with these heavy feelings differently. However, such rampant misinformation about grief can lead to people adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms. In this article, we’ve debunked five common myths surrounding grief.
Myth 1: Focusing on work is a good coping mechanism for grief
Most often, we see people who bury themselves in work to distract themselves from the grief. However, ignoring grief only causes it to worsen over time. As with any negative emotion, the key to moving on is confronting your feelings instead of bottling them up.
Myth 2: Crying will only make it worse
Crying is an acceptable response to grief. If you feel the need to cry, don’t be ashamed to let it out. Others may not feel the need to cry, but that doesn’t make their response better; it just means they deal with their emotions differently.
Myth 3: You should get over your grief after 6 months
Everyone grieves at their own pace, and the time frame varies for each person. For some, grieving may even be a lifelong process, but as long as it doesn’t impact their relationships, work, or daily life, they should be allowed to handle their loss in whatever way and however long they see fit.
Myth 4: Holding on to their possessions will prolong the grief
Most people who have passed will have left behind all their possessions for the family to keep or dispose of. Deciding to keep any of the items they held dear or those that hold familial or sentimental value, such as musical instruments and family heirlooms, don’t necessarily result in prolonged grief. Some people find comfort in having a physical reminder of their deceased loved ones, and that’s fine. However, you shouldn’t hold on to everything. You can sell off the items you won’t keep, split them between the other family members, or dispose of them through hoarding cleanup services.
Myth 5: Talking about the deceased long after the death will make moving on harder
It’s fine if you find it difficult to talk about the loss soon after it happened, but at some point, you should honor their memory by remembering them. If you’re still having difficulty talking about them even years later, it might be a sign of unacknowledged grief or trauma. You need to face these emotions so you can move on properly.
Dealing with grief isn’t a straightforward process. Sometimes, we are hit by bouts of sadness, even years later. If your grief is severely impacting your life and health, perhaps you should consider talking to a therapist. There is no shortage of specialists, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them.