Myths about grief
Myth 1: Time will heal your grief
When you have experienced a devastating loss, well-meaning family and friends blurt out platitudes like: “Time heals all wounds” or “Time heals”. George Orwell succinctly sums it up:
“They say that time heals all things, they say you can always forget; but the smiles and the tears across the years they twist my heart strings yet!”
Grief is a uniquely personal experience. Over time you do process grief and instead of feeling uncontrollable sadness every minute of every day, you eventually come to accept a ‘new reality’ and the time between your moments of grief increases. However, this does not just happen over time, it requires effort on your part.
Moving forward is a process and nobody can prescribe a method or an instant cure. Grieving is almost like starting to walk again, you need to move forward and find your footing on a new path. This time alone, without your loved one by your side.
“It has been said time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time the mind protecting its sanity covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens but it is never gone.”
Adjusting is difficult, people around you attend the funeral, deliver flowers or a lasagna and then go about their lives almost immediately. Each morning you need to relearn how to live without a loved one by your side, adjusting to a world where you cannot see, hear or touch the person who was an integral part of your reality, your dreams and your future.
How do you go about working through your grief?
Research shows that making a to-do list or simply achieving a task each day, is a small victory. Even if it is as insignificant as taking a bath or making your bed. Do not put yourself under unnecessary pressure by setting too many tasks at once.
It is a process of unbundling and of renewing your expectations, to reach a ‘new reality’. Expect to have setbacks, at times you will feel like you will never move forward. Grief is not a disorder or an incident you recover from but rather something you learn to accept and live alongside.
“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity – the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”
Do you agree that time alone does not heal grief? Have you learnt any life lessons dealing with grief? What have you found worked for you? Please share your thoughts and ideas by posting here.