WHAT IS GRIEF & WHY DO WE GET STUCK IN IT?
Grief ~ The Definition
Simply defined, grief is the normal and natural reaction to significant emotional loss of any kind.
While we never compare losses, any list would include death and divorce as obvious painful losses. Our list also includes many others: including retirement, moving, pet loss, financial losses and health issues.
The range of emotions associated with grief is as varied as there are people and personalities. There is no list of feelings that would adequately describe any one person’s mix of emotions, much less an entire society.
Grief is individual and unique. Just as every relationship is unique, so are the feelings and thoughts each person will have about the relationship that has been altered by death, divorce, or for other reasons.
While grief is normal and natural, most of the information passed on within our society about dealing with grief is not normal, natural or helpful. Grief is the emotional response to loss — but most of the information we have learned about dealing with loss is intellectual.
The majority of incorrect ideas about dealing with loss can be summed up in six myths which are so common that nearly everyone recognizes them. Most people have never questioned whether or not they are valid, however.
Six Myths about Grief
The misinformation is best described as:
- Time Heals All Wounds
- Grieve Alone
- Be Strong
- Don’t Feel Bad
- Replace the Loss
- Keep Busy
Just looking at the myth that “Time Heals” creates the idea that a person just needs to wait awhile and they will feel better. We’ve all known people who waited 10, 20, 30 or 40 years ~ and still didn’t feel better. And they would tell you that not only had time not healed them, but it had compounded the pain.
The other five myths carry equally unhelpful messages.
There are 43 losses which can produce the range of emotions we call grief. The long list includes:
- Divorce or the End of a Relationship
- Loss of Health
- Major Financial Changes
- Moving & many others
Grief is normal and natural ~ but many of the ideas we have been taught about dealing with grief are not helpful.
Recovery from loss is accomplished by discovering and completing all of the undelivered communications that accrue in relationships.
We’re all advised to “Let Go” and “Move On” after losses of all kinds. Most of us would do that if we knew how.
Completion of pain caused by loss is what allows us to let go and move on. It’s almost impossible to move on without first taking a series of actions that lead to completion. Before taking the actions to complete, however, it’s important to look at and often dismiss some of the ideas or myths we have tried to use with loss but are not working.
Moving Beyond Loss
If you have experienced one or more losses and wish to move beyond the pain, The Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program offers the probability of a richer and more rewarding life.