Grief Myths: Illustrated

Understanding Grief / Understanding Grief : Eleanor Haley

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A few weeks back, we published a post called 64 Myths About Grief that Just Need to Stop. Today, I’m going to illustrate a few of these grief myths because my brain is too fried right now to compose complete sentences. And also because sometimes it takes a good stick figure to drive the absurdity of certain thoughts and behavior home!

Grief follows a similar path and timeline for everyone.

MYTH: Grief follows a similar path and timeline for everyone.

With time, your grief will get better and go away.

MYTH: With time, your grief will get better and go away.

Everything you need to know about grief can be explained by Kubler Ross’s grief theory, The Five Stages of Grief.

five stages

If a grieving person looks okay on the outside, then they are probably feeling better.


A helpful thing to tell someone is that their loved one “wouldn’t want them to be sad.”

MYTH: A helpful thing to tell someone is that their loved one "wouldn't want them to be sad."

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After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books:

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11 Comments on "Grief Myths: Illustrated"

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  1. Vicki McClifty  September 16, 2016 at 10:00 am Reply

    I lost my 23 year old son just four years ago last week. What a journey …. Nothing compares to the pain, like having your heart literally broken open. Everyone grieves differently and for different periods of time. I am unsure what my life would be like now if I didn’t have my husband and four remaining children. With them here, I knew I had to remain strong. I knew deep down there was still a reason for me to still be here. So I kept going. Now I have found solace within my life coaching and helping others – this keeps me going by knowing I may be able to support someone who needs it. Grief is so isolating. It is such a lonely agonising path, even when you are surrounded by family. It is so personal. Gradually by sharing my story, it has helped me find the path leading me out of the darkness. I try and spend each day now by dedicating myself to helping people and have a deep empathy for others suffering worldwide. It helps me heal my own pain. It gives me a purpose, passion and the courage to find happiness again in my own life, though not denying it is still tinged with sadness at times – some days worse than others. There is and always will be that piece of my heart still missing. By helping others I somehow feel I am making my son’s life count. This keeps me going and growing stronger each day.

  2. Sandra  January 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm Reply

    I have been grieving the loss of two pregnancies for 10 and 8 years. I had, until very recently, stopped talking about my losses in terms of grief because I could tell from the looks I got from people that they had determined that because it had been such a long time and I gave birth to two healthy children after the miscarriages that I should be through grieving. I am seeing a therapist to work through some depression and am beginning to realize that I never dealt with the grief of those losses….I believe I will always grieve that one baby and the twins I lost, but I am hoping that with some work, it will be a healthy grief under which I can still function and grow.

    • Litsa  January 8, 2016 at 2:41 pm Reply

      Sandra, I am so sorry for your losses. It is unfortunate that society often dismisses certain types of loss, pregnancy loss certainly being one of them. I am glad you have gotten connected with a therapist who is providing some support. If you haven’t read it, you may be interested in our post on disenfranchised grief as well

  3. Vicki  September 3, 2015 at 10:43 pm Reply

    LMBO. That’s something he really WOULD say: ‘How the heck does she know? I don’t even know that lady.’
    In fact when he was sick once, my daughter told him that her teacher said he wouldn’t want her to be sad about it and I think he DID say something like that.
    When she was in 4th grade he was in the hospital for a long time. When he got better she told him about being sad and what her teacher had said.
    He told her he knew the woman meant well but nobody knows what he’d feel except him. I remember laughing bc he had a humorous way of doing and saying things.
    His brother’s almost just as funny, especially the time she wanted him to play with her pony and he looked like he didn’t really want to all that much.

  4. sandy t  September 3, 2015 at 6:56 pm Reply

    there is no time limit for grief. some people move forward sooner than others and thats ok. some people never ” get over ” their grief and thats ok. me personally it was the first time in my life i was in love and i wont havr that again and thats ok.

  5. Linda Rubano  September 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm Reply

    Unless you have lost the love of your life, you have NO idea how much pain is involved. I don’t discuss it with those people as they tell me to get over it and move on. We each grieve in our own way and I won’t allow anyone to tell me it’s time to stop. I don’t think I will get over losing the love of my life and will deal with it as best I can.

    • Natalie  May 25, 2016 at 12:41 am Reply

      I lost the love of my life in January, suddenly. Unexpectedly. I’m 35 and all my friends are married with kids and living their busy lives, and they keep encouraging me to get out and have FUN. They tell me to start dating. They don’t understand that I’m shattered. In shock. Nothing seems real anymore. I relate to what you’re saying. I don’t think I’ll ever “get over it” and screw the people who think I should.

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