There seems to be this consensus in parts of the loss community that you have to move forward or “heal” from your grief. I don’t believe this is true.
What does it mean to “heal” or “cure” grief?
In conjunction with two beautiful therapists, Mary from Sarah’s Heart and Diane from Diane Biggs Psychotherapy, this latest post is a compilation of frequently asked questions about therapists and therapy, specific to the child loss experience.
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.
This meme has been floating around for a while, and I honestly can’t stand it. Trauma is not your fault, period. Healing is never an obligation. Telling someone they have an obligation to heal from their trauma is just another form of toxic positivity.
People like to talk about healing after loss, but “healing” from the death of my child is about as likely as regrowing a missing limb. It’s not happening.
I think somehow I felt like I would be healed now, like your birthday would be a healing event. Like I felt about that cruise. I will never be healed.
I started school this month. It’s been intense, learning to live again inside rules and structure. I can’t get up and walk away when I need to be alone with you.
I’m awake now, and I hate it. But what I hate almost as much are the expectations on me. I eat and I sleep and I put on my uniform and people assume that because I do these things, I must be okay.
As a non-believer throughout my life, I wondered if losing my child would challenged any of my spiritual feelings and beliefs. It didn’t. I held a secular funeral for my child, and even as a bereaved mother, I am comfortable with my non-religious beliefs.
People said some (mostly unintentionally) hurtful and insensitive things after the death of my child. This is what I wish I’d said in response.