About Grief and Loss
Grief is a natural emotional reaction to a loss. It is one of the most intense human emotions, and is universal. Simply put, if you live long enough, you will lose someone; therefore you will have to grieve. Grief is also highly misunderstood in our society. According to James and Friedman, the directors of the Grief Recovery Institute, we are confused about the grieving process because we have been given inaccurate messages regarding loss as children. No one taught us how to grieve. As a result, we still grieve for our losses inadequately as adults.
The six myths of grief and loss are:
- Don’t feel bad
- Replace the loss
- Grieve alone
- Keep busy
- Be strong for others
- Give it time
While there is no universal formula or a “how to” manual to grieve, here are some tips that you might find helpful in the grieving process:
- Do not minimize your loss or compare your loss with someone else’s
- Feel! Grief recovery is an emotional process. You cannot recover from grief intellectually
- Remember that recovering is not forgetting
- Share your pain with others who care about you
- Remember that every relationship is unique; therefore, every person deals with grief in their unique way, even if people share the same loss
- Remember that a grieving person wants to be heard, not fixed
- Take responsibility for your feelings rather than wishing they would just go away
- Allocate specific times throughout the week and allow yourself to feel your sorrow
- When your allocated time is up, go about living your life. Then come back. Time and time again… Time and time again… Keep your heart open, hold yourself in compassion, and trust in your soul’s ability to heal itself.
If you are not ready to do this work by yourself, the Heartwork Counseling Center is here for you. We offer grief counseling and grief support from our trained psychotherapists. Please call us at 404-658-1222 for an appointment.
James, J. W., Friedman, R. (2009). The Grief Recovery Handbook. New York, NY. Harper Collins Publishers.