Grief: Myths & Facts

Grief and bereavement

Grief: Myths & Facts

Are you confused when you experience grief? This might be because of certain misunderstanding about grief. Here are some myths and facts about grief to help you navigate through grief.

Myth #1 – Grief is not good

Fact- Grief is a normal response

When we experience grief, we may feel distress. However, grief is not a sign of weakness nor meant to debilitate your life. Grief is our response to losing something we value a lot. Grief offers us a chance to slow down, reflect and make adjustments in our life.

Myth #2 - We need to move on quickly from Grief

Fact- We adapt to Grief

We may have expectations that we should not experience grief after some time. However, certain dates, holidays or anniversary may trigger grief responses in us. We can adapt to grief by maintaining a healthy balance of different types of grieving styles. There are 4 types of grieving styles-Expressive, Stoic, Continuing Bonds and Letting Go.

Expressive grieving style refers to allowing ourselves time and space to express our pent-up feelings. Stoic grieving style means focusing on tasks and making adjustment in our lifestyle, roles and responsibilities. Letting go grieving style refers to putting the loss aside and developing new directions in our life. Continuing bond grieving style means maintaining the connection with what is lost in another way. For example, continuing to keep some routines we used to share with the deceased.

Myth #3 - There is a "right" way to Grieve

Fact – Our Grief responses are unique

While there are common grief reactions as depicted by the Stages of Grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance), each have us have our own unique way of expressing these reactions. We also have our own timeline and move through these reactions at our own pace.

In your journey through grief, be mindful if you are thrown off by the myths of grief. If you are experiencing grief that is affecting your quality of life and ability to function, you might be experiencing more than an adaptive grief response. Consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

About The Author

Henry Lew is an experienced psychologist in Singapore, and is a registered psychologist and approved supervisor with the Singapore Psychological Society. Henry practices at Mind Care Therapy Suites, working closely with our psychiatrists to provide comprehensive and personable care.