5 Myths About Grief and Mourning

And the Truth Behind Them

Senior woman comforting crying friend
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Grief myths are prevalent in our society. Recognizing the myths, and more importantly the truths behind them, is the first step in embracing grief as a natural experience.

Grief Myth #1: Grief and Mourning are the same experiences.

Truth: Although people will often use these words to describe the same thing, there is a very important distinction. Grief is the composition of thoughts and feelings that one feels after sustaining a loss while mourning is the process one takes of moving towards healing.

Grief happens within the person while mourning happens externally.

Grief Myth #2: The stages of grief and mourning happen in a progressive, predictable order.

Truth: Grief and mourning are as unique as the individual itself. Everyone will feel different emotions and express them in a way that is uniquely their own.

Grief Myth #3: One should move away from grief, not towards it.

Truth: Often times grief is viewed as something one needs to overcome or avoid, not experience. Someone who shows outward signs of grief can be perceived self-pitying or weak. The truth is that grief needs to be experienced, not repressed, for healing to ever take place.

Grief Myth #4: The goal is to get over your grief as soon as possible.

Truth: A person mourning the loss of a loved one needs to mourn at their own pace. Instead of focusing on getting over the grief, one could focus on growing through it. The truth is, we never “get over” our grief.

We only become reconciled to it.

Grief Myth #5: Tears of grief are a sign of weakness.

Truth: Crying is a way of releasing tension and emotion. It also communicates to others the need to be comforted. One who expresses tears shows their willingness to work through their grief.


Alan Wolfelt: Dispelling 5 common myths about grief www.griefwords.com

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