It's bound to happen - either right after a loss, at a funeral or in the coming days and months. Someone, maybe close to you or maybe a stranger, will try and say something to make you feel better. They mean well - we all feel compelled to SAY or DO or HELP somehow - and yet, when the words tumble out, it is not only NOT helpful, but can be incredibly painful.
For the most part, people do not mean to be cruel (although I have heard of some truly awful things being said to family members under certain circumstances). But our culture does not teach us anything more kind or supportive. But in that moment of shock or sadness right after one of these comments, we may not know what is useful, how to feel or how to respond.
So I have created my Ten Tall Tales of Grief & Loss, highlighting what I feel are some of the most pervasive and most damaging comments out there. There are some authors who list over 30 of these myths - but I believe that is too much for a griever to process in a shut down state.
Each one of the Tales has its own Blog post here, which will have more in depth information on how to respond and what to take seriously. Granted, these are based on my opinion, but also my experience of over 30 major losses, 25+ years on my own healing juorney and my decade of experience as a healer.
The Ten Tall Tales are as follows:
These last three are connected and extremely important:
There’s Nothing I Can Do, I just have to Go Through It
Oh, no, there is plenty one can do to heal. People stay stuck in their pain and their suffering because they have been taught that they are helpless, and because no one can give them tools that work.
But Healing IS Doable – I know, I’ve done it – and many others have, too. I can help you get there in the way that is best for YOU.
Getting Over or Getting Past the Loss
This implies that someday, you will forget your loved who passed, which of course, you will never do.
This can be very dismissive of your loved one’s life and also your emotional pain, usually saying, “you JUST need to get past this,” or worse, “haven’t you gotten over that yet?”
This implies there is an End Point, which is not realistic – it is about getting accustomed to your loss and communicating the Unsaid Things, about honoring your loved one and learning to move forward.
When Will I Feel Normal Again?
This is SO important – LOSS CHANGES YOU – cannot possibly go back to the way things were. Something has fundamentally shifted in your Life.
Your Normal just MOVED – and one has to adjust, learn, heal and keep going.
It is about building a New Normal, based on this new reality. And yes, you CAN – I’m here to show you how.
These all fit into slightly different categories, as to whether they are usually used right after a loss or in the following months. But what they all have in common is that they don't move you forward and can actually keep you stuck, spinning your wheels and staying heartbroken.
Click on each Tall Tale above - each one has its own post with much more detail, empowering ideas and Tools that WORK to shift you out of neutral and into your Life again.
Need more help?
Click Here to schedule a Free 1/2 Hour Empowerment Call with me, so we can identify your Three Most Frustrating Things where you are stuck and we will find new tools together.
I hope you find my Truths and Tools of use on your healing journey.
If you would like to speak to me personally about the above subject or any topic surrounding Grief, Loss, coaching or healing, click here to set aside a personal Free ½ Hour Empowerment Call. You are not alone.
Claire M. Schwartz
Leading You Back into the Light after Loss