You are listening to the Life Reconstructed podcast with me, Teresa Amaral Beshwate, grief expert, best-selling author and widow. I’m so glad you’re here because in this and every episode, I shine a light on the widowed way forward.
Hello and welcome to episode 40. In this episode, I shatter 5 grief myths that are common in our non-grief savvy society, that you may actually believe. And I offer 5 grief truths that will help you stop suffering and start feeling better, today.
If you’re listening to this episode as it is released, it’s a brand new year. And that might be extra hard. The passing of time can bring about new types of sadness. It’s sad to start a new year without your person’s physical presence. Or you might think that with this new year, you should be further along by now, doing better or have clear evidence that you’re moving forward. Perhaps those who have supported you to date, assume that you’re “okay” by now, especially if you’ve completed your year of firsts.
The truth is that there’s no owner’s manual or checklist for losing your person. There is no one “right” way to grieve.
We live in a non-grief savvy society, and we’re a product of it. So, although you have lost your spouse, you may still believe some grief myths that are causing extra suffering. Here are some grief myths that you may believe to be true:
1. Grief myth #1: You have to “move on,” leave your person in the past, or “get over it.” None of that is required for healing. In fact, research shows that integrating your person into your life is healthy and helps with healing. Integration can take on many forms. I personally have photos of my late husband around my house, I hung his ornaments on my Christmas tree, I speak his name, I talk with him, I quote him, and I still laugh at his jokes. The possibilities are endless.
2. Grief myth #2: You are doing it “wrong.,” and you should be further along by now. This journey is hard enough without the loads of self-judgment that so many of us pile on. The death of a spouse is often cited as the #1 most stressful life event. My guess is that you’re doing your best in the worst of circumstances. Grieving is learning. Let yourself learn this new, harsh reality without judging yourself, too.
3. Grief myth #3: The former version of you is going to reemerge. It just isn’t true. Death changed you, too. Grief changes your brain. It draws a line in the sand that forever marks the before and after, and that includes you. A different version of you is emerging. For now, you’re learning yourself all over again. And you will continue to evolve, so there’s future version of you, too.
4. Grief myth #4: grief is the only connection to your spouse. The moment your person passed, grief moved into your life, and dominated everything. So it’s tempting to think that grief is the only thing you have left of your person. It just isn’t true - every emotion can be a connection to our spouse. In fact, as you’re able to feel comfortable emotions, I believe you’ll find an even stronger connection.
5. Grief myth #5: You need fixing. You are grieving, and grief needs to be acknowledged and tended to, but it can’t be “fixed.” Well-intentioned people want to coax you into what they perceive should be the next phase of your healing. They want to help. But real help is someone who can accurately see your whereabouts, and spend time with you in exactly that place. And when you’re ready, help you grow.
Don’t DIY your grief in 2024. Walk with me through my proven program and let me help you take the most efficient strides forward, in a way that honors your person and helps you find yourself and your purpose.
If this episode was helpful, please share it with a widowed friend. And remember that I believe in you, and I’m here for you. Take care.
If you’ve found this podcast helpful, I invite you to join Life Reconstructed, my coaching program exclusively for widowed people. It will help you step forward toward a life you will love again. Simply go to thesuddenwidowcoach.com and click work with me.