Grieving Isn't One Size Fits All

What to Know About Grief

We All Deal with Grief Differently

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be extremely hard and you may feel like no one understands what you're going through because everyone deals with it differently, and each relationship is different as well. Grieving isn't one size fits all. You may have lost your grandmother; but your dad and two aunts lost their mom, your grandfather lost his wife, and that woman that has no relation to you, but you call aunt anyway just lost her best friend. Each and every one of you are grieving in different ways but hurting just the same.

I come from a big family and have lost many relatives over my life, but I'll never forget that morning 5 years ago when my mom called to tell me one of my uncles passed from a massive heart attack. Though it was hard to deal with, things did get better and that heart-wrenching pain of feeling like you can't breathe does pass. You will laugh again and it's ok when you do. At my uncle's funeral there were even some giggles and heartfelt laughs and dancing (country music was playing because that's the way he was).

He would have wanted more smiles than tears.

Myths and Facts about Grief

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: It's important to "be strong" in the face of loss.

Fact: Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. 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 feeling can help them and you.

MYTH: If you don't cry, it means you aren't sorry about the loss.

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: 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.

Five years later, I still think of him often and happily; but every year, on that one day, I can't help but reminisce on the good times, as well as how hard that day was. It's important to move forward and keep your head up and know that it is possible. I will always love him and carry him in my heart (as I do with all my family members that have passed). I know how much he loved me, and I take comfort in the fact that he knew how much I adored him as well. Believe me, they know. They always know. Even if the last thing you said to them wasn't "I love you", they still know. This pain you're feeling won't last forever, but I would be lying if I said it would never hurt again. It will, and that's ok.

There's nothing wrong with shedding a tear every now and then, as long as you remember to fill your heart with love and not anger for them not being here anymore. Do not dwell in the pain. Feel it, acknowledge it, then move on. And remember that just because they can't talk back, doesn't mean they're not listening when you talk to them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and be sure to share it with your friends who may be struggling with the loss of a loved one.

We also have a partner, GriefShare, who is a caring support group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life's most difficult experiences.

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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6 comments on “Grieving Isn't One Size Fits All”

  1. What sort of mother doesn't realize her child is dying. I failed my daughter and I'm failing my other three children whom deserve a mother that is happy. I'm not like that anymore. Nobody could possibly hate me more than I do. Just when I think I hate myself enough I just keep hating. There is not a single person that cares I mean I don't even care so how would anyone else.
    I just look forward to sleeping the pain stops and I get a rest.

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