Myths About Loss and Grief

Myths about Loss and Grief

Myths have developed over the years, especially in Western society. When spoken as a fact, some of these myths can hurt those grieving a loss. Creating a hierarchy of grief, judgments, assumptions, and taking away the uniqueness of grief. Grief is an individual event shaped by the relationships of the person, animal or the important role being grieved. It can also apply to non-events – which were anticipated to occur during a lifetime but may never happen. Applying the myths to somebody’s grief can minimise the grief experience and does not honour the loss. 

Myth Reality 
Grief is solely a reaction to a death. Grief is a response to any loss.
Some types of losses are more difficult than others. All loss can hurt.
Grief is a predictable process. Grief is an individual experience.
There is a timetable for grief. There is no timetable for grief.
Grief is about letting go. We retain a continuing bond with those we love.
After a loss, we need closure. There can never be “closure.”
We need to process the loss to reach a resolution. We each process loss in our own way.
Human beings are naturally resilient to loss. Many individuals are resilient in experiencing loss, yet many may find grief difficult – even disabling.
It is easier to accept a death after a prolonged illness. All deaths are difficult.

Doka (2017, pp. 9-24).


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