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Myths of Grief - Part 1
By Sandy Clendenen

Since grief is a difficult topic for most people, there is a tendency to descend into myths about the subject of grief. These myths have often been passed down from generation to generation. These myths or paradigms easily become the accepted truth of our lives that we accept without questioning.

In this series of articles I will be discussing a number of myths which are prevalent in our culture. These myths have a lasting impact on the lives of grievers and those who are watching others grieve.

The purpose of these articles is to bring these myths to the surface of consciousness in order that they can be seen and evaluated from a place of awareness rather than simply accepted as the norm. Through these articles a number of myths will be dispelled. You will then be able to make clearer decisions about your own grief process from a place of honesty. Myths cloud the truth and create inner confusion and frustration.

The first myth we will explore is a very common response expressed to many grievers; namely,"...it just takes time to get over grief."

If you are presently grieving you may have heard this or you may have expected to hear this from others. It may be a sentiment you have shared with others you know who are grieving.

Simply because this is a common response does not mean it is helpful or true. Take a moment to close your eyes and really focus on the words and the meaning of the phrase. "It just takes time..." How do you feel when you really allow yourself to experience the meaning of these words.

You may experience inner conflict or confusion when you hear these words. You may begin to wonder how much time is enough time to grieve. You may feel compelled to ask others how long they grieved their loss. You may feel resigned to the fact that grief is something that must take a specific number of years to move through.

I believe one reason this myth is so prevalent is because it is so very difficult to watch someone who is grieving. There can be a deep feeling of helplessness watching grief as well as personally grieving. Projecting the grief out into an extended time frame somehow gives those grieving and those watching the grief a way to justify the pain of grief.

If grief just takes time, then all concerned can just resign themselves to an extended time frame. It's like if you break your leg and the doctor gives you a specific time frame for the bones to heal. Most people simply accept what they are told.

With grief, time is not the healer. Grief is not about time. Grief is about a hurting heart. And that hurting heart longs simply to be acknowledged, with no time expectation or limits.

If time were the healer of grief then those losses from may years ago would not still be impacting our lives today. If time were the healer then we would not find ourselves so easily drawn back to our past losses when we witness or experience a new loss.

Time is not the healer of grief. Awareness and honesty are the first steps to healing grief.


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