Facts and Misconceptions about grief

A few true facts about grief

  • Grief is the normal natural reaction to loss. Grief is not a problem that needs to be worked through and solved, it is a reaction to death and non-death loss.

  • There are no predictable stages and phases for grief. Grief is unique to each person based on their culture, cognitive development and understanding, personality and the relationship with the person who died.

  • Grief is an emotional, cognitive , behaviourial, spirtual and existential experience.  Grief is multifaceted and impacts all aspects and domains of a persons life.

  • Grief is ongoing and forever. A person will grieve in some form forever.  The loss will remain therefore so will the grief so a person will learn to adapt, integrate and carry it differently with time.

Myth busting misconceptions about childhood grief

Unfortunately, there are numerous misconceptions regarding children and their capacity to grieve. Listed below are a few of these.

Myth

Reality

Young children do not grieve. All children grieve.
Children do not grieve as much as adults. Children express grief differently but experience it just as intensely.
Children are ‘lucky’ because they are too young to understand. Children are vulnerable in their grieving.
Children can resolve grief quickly. Children’s grief has no time limits.
Children should be protected from pain and suffering to maintain their innocence. Children cannot be protected from death in play, the media, or life experiences.
Children and adolescents understand, experience, and express grief identically. Children and adolescents are developmentally distinct.