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So if grief is normal what’s the problem?

The problem is that grief is a natural emotion following any significant loss but most of what society teaches us about it and how to deal with it, is in fact, intellectual.

A feeling cannot be fixed using a rational argument and yet our friends, family and sadly many professionals too, do this daily.

For example following a death they may say, “Don’t be upset, he/she is no longer in pain”. Now, while the second half of this statement may in fact be technically true, it is emotionally barren. They have moved the subject away from your feelings and on to those of the person who has died.

This intellectualisation of grief is so widespread that we barely notice it anymore. We just know that when people make comments, most of the time they are unhelpful or even hurtful despite being uttered with the best of intentions.

Over the years of working with many thousands of grievers, it has become apparent that the six myths associated with loss, first identified by John James , are almost wholly universal.