| The Definition
Simply defined, grief is the normal and natural reaction to significant emotional loss of any kind. While we never compare losses, any list would include death and divorce as obviously painful losses. Our list also includes many others; retirement, moving, loss of pets, financial and health issues among them.
The range of emotions associated with grief are as varied as there are people and personalities. There is no list of feelings that would adequately describe one person's emotions, much less an entire society.
Grief is individual and unique. As every relationship is unique, so too are the feelings and thoughts each person will have about the relationship that has been altered by death, divorce, or for other reasons.
While grief is normal and natural, most of the information passed on within our society about dealing with grief is not normal, natural, or helpful. Grief is the emotional response to loss, but most of the information we have learned about dealing with loss is intellectual.
The majority of incorrect ideas about dealing with loss can be summed up in six myths which are so common that nearly everyone recognizes them. Most people have never questioned whether or not they are valid. The misinformation is best described in the following list:
The six myths include: "time heals all wounds", "grieve alone", "be strong", "don't feel bad", "replace the loss", and "keep busy". Just looking at the myth that "time heals" creates the idea that a person merely has to wait and they will eventually feel better. We know that some people have waited for many years and still didn't feel better, but rather the pain compounded and restricted their lives in many ways.
Recovery from loss is accomplished by discovering and completing all of the undelivered communications that accrue in relationships. We are all advised to "Let Go" and "Move On" after losses of all kinds. Most of us would do that if we knew how.
Completion of pain caused by loss is what allows us to "Let Go" and "Move On." It is almost impossible to "Move On" without first taking a series of actions that lead to completion.
Before taking the actions to complete, it is important to look at, and often dismiss, some of the ideas for myths that we have tied to use with loss, but which are not working.
The Grief Recovery Method® Outreach Program provides the correct action choices that help people "Move Beyond" the pain caused by loss. It is a 12-week program which creates a safe environment in which to look at old beliefs about dealing with loss; to look at what losses have affected your life; and to take new actions which lead to completion of the pain attached to those losses.