Dealing with Grief and Loss: Truths and Myths
It’s no secret that the current pandemic has upended our lives and presented new challenges related to grief and loss. The isolation and anxiety most of us have faced for months is difficult, and that difficult continues to build and bring on a range of emotions. And, for those whose loved ones have succumbed to the virus, the tremendous loss coupled with obstacles to properly grieve during this unique time is unimaginable.
Although we may need to express our grief, we must first understand that it is not abnormal or weak to show these emotions. We must be able to grieve.
Grieving is a process that should not include a predetermined timetable or path. While grieving, it is important to know that through this process, you can heal and rebuild your life, and learning the truths and myths about grieving may ease the difficulties of your healing process.
Some Truths About Grief Provided by the DHS Think Tank:
- Sometimes it takes a while for grief to sink in
- The level and duration of grief varies with each person.
- During early grief we typically feel overwhelmed, go into shock, find the loss hard to accept.
- You cannot “not” grieve, just like you cannot “not” bleed.
- Going through grief is what allows you to heal. It is best to accept your grief rather than trying to avoid it.
- Grief affects people psychologically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, physically and mentally. Don’t be surprise if grief affects you in ways you least expect.
- There are many expressions of grief. Some are in the range of helplessness, panic, worry, anxiety, fear, anger, guilt, failure, emptiness, hopelessness, despair, sadness and loneliness. Some, equally valid, are in the range of relief and happiness, if your loved one’s death relieved them from pain or if you were the primary caregiver and the one who died caused distress for you or others. Be prepared for grief to express itself in many ways.
- The best way to handle grief is to feel your feelings. Let your feelings flow where they will.
Some Myths About Grief Provided by the DHS Think Tank:
- Strong people should be able to get through grief without showing emotions.
- People with a strong faith do not grieve.
- You will be back to normal in a few months.
- If you express intense feelings, you are losing self-control.
- If a loved one dies, you will never be happy again.
- Grief comes in predictable orderly stages.
- Crying is a sign of weakness.
- Grief gets easier to deal with as you get older.
- Strong people should be able to deal with grief alone.
Please remember to acknowledge your truths. Identify coping methods that work for you in order to loosen energy and connect with your feelings. Grieve as much as you need to grieve!