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Myths about Coping & Grief

MYTH: It’s important to be “be strong” in the face of adversity.


Fact:
Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to grief. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family or friends by putting on a brave front. Showing your true feelings can help them and you.

MYTH: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sad about the situation.


Fact:
Crying is a normal response to sadness, but it’s not the only one. Those who don’t cry may feel the pain just as deeply as others. They may simply have other ways of showing it.

MYTH: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it.

Fact: Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it.

MYTH: Grief should last about a year.


Fact:
There is no right or wrong time frame for grieving. How long it takes can differ from person to person.

Source: Center for Grief and Healing

Stages of Coping & Grief
  1. Denial: “I can’t believe this is happening to me.
  2. Anger:Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
  3. Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will____.”
  4. Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
  5. Acceptance: “I can cope with….”
If you are experiencing any of these emotions, it may help to know that your reaction is natural and that you’ll heal in time. However, not everyone who is grieving goes through all of these stages – and that’s okay. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go through each stage in order to heal. In fact, some people resolve their grief without going through any of these stages. And if you do go through these stages of grief, you probably won’t experience them in a neat, sequential order, so don’t worry about what you “should” be feeling or which stage you’re supposed to be in. Grief can be a roller coaster Instead of a series of stages, we might also think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Like many roller coasters, the ride tends to be rougher in the beginning, the lows may be deeper and longer. The difficult periods should become less intense and shorter as time goes by, but it takes time to work through a loss. Even years after a loss, especially at special events such as a family wedding or the birth of a child, we may still experience a strong sense of grief.

Source: Hospice Foundation of America