Grief presents different challenges for each individual. Whether you are grieving the death of a parent, child, or close friend, or whether you are anticipating the loss of an ill relative, there are a range of emotions you can feel as you grieve. Many people still believe some myths about grief, and New Day Cremation and Funeral Service has some information about these 3 grief myths:
Myth #1: Grief is linear, fading more and more over time.
It would be wonderful if grief gradually faded away or disappeared, wouldn’t it? Those who have experienced a loss of a spouse or close relative know that grief can show up at the strangest times. There is a saying that grief is like glitter—it gets in the corners and you can discover it years later. Grief may be more intense at first—or, it can hit you stronger and months later. Many grievers feel their loss anew at the holidays, on the deceased’s birthday, and on the anniversary of their death. Again, your grief may fade somewhat over the years, or it may not. It is most realistic to be aware that grief can turn up while chatting with friends, watching a TV show, listening to music, or attending another funeral or memorial service.
A coping strategy is to excuse yourself from triggering situations so you can move through your feelings of sadness. The more you try to contain your emotions, the more it can result in an unpleasant burst of tears, anger, or irrationality about something seemingly unrelated. Give yourself the time and space to grieve. It’s okay to cry, grieve, and be sad, but you also want to take care of any symptoms that go beyond sadness and cross into a state of depression.
Myth #2: Grieving ends with the funeral.
As with the first myth, it is simply untrue that the funeral services and burial complete the grieving process. You will have days, weeks, and months of processing grief. Treating yourself with respect and grace can help you move through grief toward healing. It is perfectly normal to feel sad for a period of time. That period varies greatly from person to person.
Telling yourself to “get back to normal” or “get over it” is not going to help you grieve. This is where giving yourself a break could be useful. Consider meditation or mindfulness to help create a boundary for your grief. Some people find solace in prayer. Just a few minutes a day of mentally “letting it go” could help you feel better in the rest of your daily activities.
Myth #3: Grief is worse when you cry.
Tears of sadness, joy, and even anger can be part of a healthy grieving process. Crying is normal when you experience a loss. You may not be someone who cries, however, if you feel like crying, grief experts encourage letting go of your tears. Moving through grief and the side effects of loss will help you feel better faster.
If you find yourself crying a lot, remember your self care. Drink water and consider dabbing your face with a cool or warm washcloth to ease dehydration. Get plenty of rest, too.
There is no one “right way to grieve.” Your grieving process may be very different from another person’s experience. By increasing your awareness of grief, you can be a better support to others in their time of loss and also more prepared for losses you will experience. One final note: When anticipating the death of a loved one to an illness, it can be comforting to help them make choices about their final arrangements in advance. Contact Donaghy New Day Cremation and Funeral Care with questions.