Myths about Loss and Grief

It’s crucial to acknowledge that there are numerous misconceptions about loss and grief, especially in Western society. These myths can have a profound impact when treated as truths, as they create a hierarchy of grief and lead to judgments and assumptions, thereby undermining the unique nature of the grieving process.

Grief is a deeply personal experience influenced by the connections to the person, animal, or significant aspect being mourned. It can also extend to unrealized events, such as anticipated life milestones that may never come to fruition. Applying these misconceptions to someone’s grief can devalue their experience and fail to honor their loss.

The following list represents some of the myths and realities about grief adapted from Kenneth Doka.

Myth: Grief is solely a reaction to a death.

Reality: Grief is a response to any kind of loss.

Myth: Some types of losses are more complex than others.

Reality: All losses can be painful.

Myth: Grief follows a predictable process.

Reality: Grief is an individual experience.

Myth: There is a timetable for grief.

Reality: There is no set timetable for grief.

Myth: Grief is about letting go.

Reality: We hold onto a continuing bond with those we love.

Myth: After a loss, we need closure.

Reality: “Closure” may be unattainable.

Myth: We need to process the loss to resolve it.

Reality: Everybody processes loss in their own way.

Myth: Humans are naturally resilient to loss.

Reality: While many show resilience, others find grief to be challenging, even incapacitating.

Myth: It is easier to accept a death after a prolonged illness.

Reality: Every death presents its own difficulties.

Doka (2017, pp. 9-24).

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Julie Jensen

Qualifications

Graduate Certificate of Bereavement Counselling & Intervention: Grief Australia

Grief Coaching: The Institute for Life Coach Training, USA

Professional Certificate End-of-Life-Doula: University of Vermont, USA

Professional Certificate Companion Animal End-of-Life-Doula: University of Vermont, USA

End of Life Doula Foundation and Intensive Training: Preparing the Way, Australia

Certifications

Grief Australia: Certified Bereavement Practitioner (CBP-00026).

Association for Death Education and Counseling, USA: Certified Thanatologist (Study of Death, Dying, and Bereavement).

Creative Grief Studio Certification Program, USA: Certified Creative Grief Support Practitioner.

The Grief Recovery Institute, Australia: Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®

Read more about me here.  

Seeking Help for Loss and Grief

How to Get Started

If you’re ready to seek help, here’s how to take the first step – book a brief enquiry call. You will be asked to select a time from the available bookings, for a 15-minute phone call. I will call you at the date and time selected.