A seemingly popular explanation of the experience we call grief, is often described with the following stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is likely that if you have experienced grief, these terms can range from describing the experience to leaving you feeling more lost and misunderstood. That leads to the question, how is grief a universal experience, yet so widely misunderstood?
To begin answering that question, we must first acknowledge the complexities and uniqueness of each individual and their experience. It Is a deeply personal journey in a person’s life and is influenced by several factors. These factors include but are not limited to a person’s relationship to what or who was lost, a person’s unique personality traits, circumstances surrounding the loss, previous experience of loss and other adverse life experiences, a support system, culture, and the meaning making of the experience.
The complexities and misunderstanding of grief may also leave some people to conceal or mask their grief. It is important to acknowledge that with grief comes trauma, and that there is no “right way,” to respond to something that has happened to you. Additionally, barriers in the realm of grief include myths that are still present today. The following myths include:
Grief has a timeline: There is no rigid timeline or specific linear stages that you need to conform to. While the intensity of grief may lessen over time, love, connection, and impact often endures.
Grief is only about sadness: Grief can encompass all emotions and can continue to change throughout a person’s life.
Grief is something to get over: Grief is different for each person, and often reflects learning to live with loss, and finding ways to honor the memory of what has been lost.
Grief is solely about death: Grief can be about a loss of any kind. This can include losses such as a divorce, relocation, loss of job, loss of health or function, losses related to fertility and or pregnancy, loss of a pet, or an overall loss of what could have been including ambiguous losses.
Grief can’t be a physical response: People can experience physical changes such as aches and pains, inflammation, fatigues, disturbances in sleep, changes in appetite and immune responses.
If you or someone you know is dealing with grief and/or loss, Know Thyself Healing & Therapy can offer personalized support and space that provides an opportunity for people to understand their own emotions and experiences. We offer a person-centered approach that recognizes both the losses within grief and the unique strengths of each person. We offer interventions that help can help empower individuals to heal, grow, and rebuild their lives while honoring the significance of their experiences.
Contact us at (952) 222-7936 or visit our website to schedule a consultation with one of our therapists at https://www.knowthyselfpllc.com/contact.