Questions I get asked: “Can I really get over my grief?”
Before I answer this I just want to say something about the phrase ‘get over’, as it isn’t one I usually use. The reason I don’t is that when people hear ‘get over grief’ they tend to think ‘get over/forget the person I have lost’….which is not what anyone wants to do…and certainly not what my work is about – in fact, it’s the opposite of what my work is about. So though the question was about ‘getting over grief’ I’ll be talking about ‘healing’ it instead – a nicer phrase.
So…can you heal your grief? In a very small nutshell – yes. You can.
But instead of talking about why and how and what I mean, I want to ask you some questions today.
Lots and lots of lots of people never truly heal from their grief…but it usually has a lot more to do with their beliefs around death and grief than they realise. Henry Ford said “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” This does not just apply to goals you set and plans you make. It also applies to the things you can deal with and heal from.
If you believe that you can’t heal from your grief, that no-one can truly, then there is a very good chance you won’t. And if, deep down (or even not so deep down) you believe that it would be wrong to heal from your grief then you definitely won’t. Why would you?
So here are the questions I want you to think about:
Do you believe it’s actually possible to heal from grief totally?
Do you believe it would be ok to heal from grief?
Would it be disrespectful or a sign that you didn’t love your parent very much if you weren’t grieving anymore?
If you stopped grieving would you forget them?
Does letting go of grief mean letting go of them?
Do you think that your grief and pain is the last thing you have left of this person you loved so much and without it you would have nothing left?
Is there any reason why you don’t deserve to heal from your grief?
The above are beliefs (not truths) about grief that will ensure that you don’t heal. They are also myths. Every single one of them. If you hold one or more of these beliefs they will make it very difficult for you to heal from your grief. And when you are grieving it is a lot more difficult to think about the person you’ve lost as thinking about them can be a very painful experience.
Read them again. Are there any that really push a button with you, or upset you, hurt you or make you angry. Which of these beliefs do you hold?
If you’d like to talk to me about any of these or hear a bit more, then please get in touch via commenting below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m currently writing a booklet about the biggest (and most damaging) myths around grieving and loss (and the truths that they hide) when you’ve lost a parent or someone you love. If there is anything else that came up for you as you read this list then please let me know – I’d love to include it (and you’ll be one of the first to get the booklet when it’s done).