There are many myths associated with the grieving process, and it can be frustrating for those who are grieving to hear false information during such an emotional time. It is important to understand that the grieving process is different for each person, and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve. In order to effectively process these grieving emotions, whether that is for ourselves, or perhaps to be a supportive friend for someone else, it is essential to have a proper understanding of the complex grieving process.
Myth: There are strictly five stages of grief.
Reality: The common understanding that there are five stages to the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, is often a misconception. There is no proper way to grieve, and it can be discouraging for those grieving to believe they need to abide by the five stages. Each person will grieve differently than the next, and that is perfectly acceptable.
Myth: Grief is a timetable.
Reality: Many people seem to believe that grief takes place within a specific time period, and then it should go away, but this is not the case. Grief is an ongoing process that leaves us with a void in our hearts, yet this feeling doesn’t just disappear, but is rather a continuous journey we are on throughout our lives.
Myth: Grief occurs solely after a death.
Reality: There are many occurrences in life that people grieve about, whether that be a miscarriage, divorce, the loss of a job, etc.; the list goes on. It is necessary to remember that grief can come to us in various ways, and is absolutely not limited to the death of loved one.
Myth: The effects of grief are just psychological.
Reality: When we experience a loss, we suffer emotionally, yes, but there are also physical effects of grief as well. Physical effects that include, but are not limited to: loss of appetite, fatigue, body pains, etc. Grief has the ability to affect our bodies more than just emotionally.
Myth: Life will eventually turn back to normal.
Reality: People tend to think that grief is simply a stage people must go through to eventually “get over” the person they lost. The truth is, grief never truly leaves us, and we just learn to live life differently than before.