- Bereaved Parents are loveable even when they are a confused mess. Feeling down, alone, sad, cranky, moody, tired, hopeless, angry, confused, and worse doesn’t mean you are a failure. Your unhappiness is an expression of humanness.
- Crying is a gift. Tears honor loss and relieve pent-up emotions.
- Almost every thought, feeling and behavior is normal. Being depressed, quick-to-anger, weird in your humor, or wildly happy at odd times are all fairly common. As long as your behavior is not self-destructive or illegal, you’re probably pretty normal.
- You are not alone. People have been grieving their hearts out since the beginning of time - and surviving!
- People are uncomfortable with grieving people. If people can’t be supportive, that’s their problem. Find people who can understand.
- No matter how bad you feel you will survive. You can carry your wound through life or help it to heal cleanly.
- It takes as long as it takes. Having a tantrum will not hurry it along. Your wound will heal naturally in its own time. Take great care of yourself in the meantime.
- I don’t want to hear about it. It’s as if we’ve made a pact with each other to pretend everything is okay.
- Look good no matter what. In our world, it’s important to appear put-together – to look good on the outside no matter what you are feeling on the inside.
- Handle problems by yourself. Or else – you’re weak and incompetent! The absence of readily available, confidential, emotionally supportive, and helpful people to confide in sends a subtle message – it says that grief problems aren’t that important.
- Get over it quickly. This is the age of short attention and short feeling spans. Subtle and no-so-subtle hints abound that we’d like grieving people to get on with life, get better, feel better… now.
- Leave grieving people alone. Because it’s complicated and we’re uncomfortable, we avoid people who are hurting.
- It’s no big thing. Hidden message is “please don’t have big feelings about this because I’m uncomfortable with grief.”
- Handle it like an adult. If you were more mature, you’d handle your loss better.