Help with Grief and Loss, Bereavement Counselors and Therapists in Latrobe
Grieving is one of the most intense experiences we face. It is also one of the most misunderstood experiences we have. Our beliefs about grief are generally those instilled in us early in life. Not all of those beliefs are accurate so we sometimes find ourselves unprepared for grieving as adults.
There are a number of myths about grieving that persist. These myths can be confusing and sometimes impede one’s ability to grieve or seek help.
5 Common Myths about Grieving
1. Grief lasts for a set period of time.
This myth is often seen in comments such as, “It’s been a year.” “You should be over it now.” This myth may have arisen from cultural practices of mourning in which widows or other family members were required to dress in mourning clothes or perform certain mourning rituals for prescribed periods of time. The fact is, the process of grieving is highly personal and individual. The time is different for every person, even those within the same family.
2. You have to be strong or stoic.
This myth is often directed towards men and the idea that emotionality is a sign of weakness. Showing emotions is not weakness. On the contrary, suppressing emotions can have detrimental effects on a person, creating internal distress, making it more difficult for them to cope. Having intense feelings after a loss is normal. Expressing them is a healthy part of the grieving and healing process. In fact, the act of crying is a soothing and healthy stress response that releases emotional tension.
3. You have to cry or you aren’t really grieving.
This is the opposite of #2 and most often directed towards women. While crying serves both an emotional and a physiological function in releasing emotional energy, not everyone cries when they are sad. Grief responses are highly individual. A person may feel a loss quite intensely and never shed a tear. They may experience and express their emotions in different ways. The important thing is that they are working through their emotions in whatever way is healthy for them.
4. Children don’t grieve.
The fact is children do grieve. How they grieve is different from adults. Even very young children are sensitive to what is happening around them. They know because the adults around them act differently. They may not yet have the ability to define it or the words to express themselves but they do so through behavior and through play.
5. Grief only happens when a person dies.
The fact is, we grieve all kinds of losses. We grieve the loss of loved ones. We grieve the loss of beloved pets. We grieve the loss of significant relationships. The feelings can be just as intense and the process just as difficult.
When to Seek Help
Sometimes we discover that the things we believe about grieving are untrue. We are left wondering, “What is true?” “What is normal?”
The counselors at Latrobe Grief Counseling can help you sort out what is true and what beliefs might be holding you back. Our experienced grief counselors can help you to work through your grief and move towards a place of healing.
If you’re ready to take the next step, call Latrobe Grief Counseling today for your confidential appointment.