Martin Fox Counselling in Aldershot

10 myths about bereavement

  • Time is a good healer.
  • Everyone grieves in the same way.
  • You'll fully recover from losing a loved one.
  • If a bereaved person doesn't cry they didn't care about the person.
  • Burying your feelings makes it easier.
  • If I avoid my feelings they'll go away.
  • Grief is a mental health condition.
  • Other people know how you feel.
  • I lost someone else in the past, so I know exactly what it'll be like this time.
  • I'm going mad.

  • 10 facts about bereavement

  • We never completely get over losing a loved one, we learn to live with it.
  • People will avoid talking to you because they don't know what to say.
  • Nobody knows exactly how you feel because you lost your loved one, they didn't.
  • Grieving is a natural process and a reaction to being attached to another person who has died.
  • It'll take a while before you begin to feel better and live your life fully again, but most people do.
  • Talking to an independent person who isn't emotionally involved can often help.
  • You're not going mad, although it may feel that way.
  • The feelings can be very frightening.
  • We only experience a person dying once, so we can't know what its going to be like.
  • It OK to not cope for a while.

  • I should have done more!

    After somebody dies we often feel that as a family member or friend that we should have done more for them before they died.
    We usually only feel this because they have died. We could have had a relationship with the person for many years and were content with it, we didn't need anymore and more importantly nor did they. The feeling that we should have done more is from a feeling of guilt and we may even feel that had we done more, they might not have died.
    My comments above may or may not be true for your particular relationship and your feelings that you should have done more are actually based in fact.
    However one thing is almost always true. We have absolutely no idea when we would have known when doing more was enough.
    A couple of examples...
    1) I should have visited him in hospital more often. How many times? 10 times? 10,000 times? What would tell you it was enough?
    2) I should have told her I loved her more often. How many times?

    These and similar experiences can haunt us for years, but we would never actually know when doing more would have been enough for us.

    If a couple have an argument before one leaves to travel somewhere and they are killed on their journey, the other spouse can be deeply troubled by those last few words.
    We live in our relationships with the up's and down's they often come with. We may have had arguments in the past with no particular trouble or difficulties. But because the other person died, we can carry huge regret which we find very hard to get past.

    We do not live in our relationships planning for their death. We don't say "I love you darling just in case you die on the way to work". Or "we must never argue ever again, just in case one of us dies before we have made up".

    The above comments may not take away the pain that you feel, but they may go a little way to changing your perspective when somebody we love dies.

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