Category: Life & Authenticity Graphics

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"Good intentions" are best revealed by changing behavior you've been told is hurtful.

Good intentions

We are often asked to consider the intentions of our loved ones when they say or do something hurtful in our lives. But please remember: “Good intentions” are best revealed by changing behavior you’ve been told is hurtful.

We need to talk about grief.

We need to talk about grief

We need to talk about grief.
We need to talk about death & the fact that it happens.
We need to talk about relationships & how they don’t go away even when someone dies.
We need to talk about the realities of loss & the complexities inherent in planning a life for someone who never gets to live it.

What's with this expectation that grief should be "reasonable"? Death certainly isn't very reasonable. Grieve however you need.

“Reasonable” Grief (B/W)

I’ve seen so many people begin a post about grief with phrases like, “This may sound odd,” or “Sorry if this is weird.” I’ve decided I’m going to stop doing that. Grief doesn’t have to be reasonable. Death certainly isn’t.

Feelings are always valid, - Even when they aren't rational - Even when they are negative - Even when other people wish you felt differently Feelings are ALWAYS valid

Feelings are always valid (B/W)

One of the more important things I’ve learned is that if what you’re feeling is authentic, then it’s valid, no matter what. Feelings don’t have to follow rules; they just exist.

You are under no obligation to be healed not today, and not at any point in the future. It is always always ALWAYS okay not to be okay.

You are under no obligation to be healed

There is often this perception that healing is a required part of the process of grief. I don’t believe this is true. Healing is and must always be the choice of the individual.

I have the right to feel how I feel, for as long as I feel it, regardless of circumstances or whether someone else feels differently.

I have the right to feel how I feel (B/W)

Feelings aren’t required to be rational or reasonable, nor to follow anyone else’s expectations. I have the right to feel how I feel, for as long as I feel it, regardless of circumstances or whether someone else feels differently.

"Be thankful for the good times." …What in the world makes you think I'm not?

“Be thankful for the good times” (B/W)

The bereaved are often told to think of the positives or to remember the good times with the person they lost. The problem with this statement is that it assumes we aren’t already thankful for these things. The truth is that pain and thankfulness can exist at the exact same time.

"Think positive"...I am positive my son is dead.

“Think Positive” (B/W)

There is a tendency in our culture to want to find the bright side to every story and situation, but sometimes a bright side simply doesn’t exist.

"Look on the Bright Side." Rewritten: This sucks.

“Look on the bright side”

It’s common for outsiders to tell the hurt and bereaved to look on the bright side or find the silver lining in their grief. This is ridiculous. Sometimes it just needs to suck.

My experience feels a lot more valid when I remove all the "buts".

Remove the “Buts” (B/W)

Many years ago in the Before, my then-boyfriend asked me not to say, “I love you, but–“. As he pointed out, the word “but” is minimizing; it negates the importance of everything that came before. I think of this today, and I realize how much more valid my experience feels when I remove any “buts”. It definitely helps.

Death isn't something you ever "get over". It's something you integrate, and then integrate again.

Death isn’t something you ever “get over” (B/W)

In the Before, I always thought of death as a sad experience, but one whose impact would eventually fade. I know now that you never really “get over” the death of someone you love; you can only integrate the loss and pain. And this is a process that is never-ending.

Thankfulness is not a cure for tragedy, trauma, or grief.

Thankfulness is not a cure for grief (B/W; 2 versions)

It is common in loss circles to talk about finding thankfulness in the life we have left. There are so many things wrong with this sentiment. The biggest problem is that it assumes the bereaved can’t be thankful and grieving at the same time. The other main problem is the unspoken assumption that thankfulness is a “cure” for grief.⁠ It isn’t.

"Positive vibes only."...Rewritten: Authentic vibes only.

“Positive Vibes Only”

“Positive vibes only” sounds like a great message, but it unfortunately acts as erasure of the full emotional spectrum. Authenticity is always preferable.

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