Y'all, grief counseling is a unique skill, and even the best therapists (for mental health issues) may not be effective at helping those of us in grief. Case in point: the woman who wrote that piece, because OH MY GOD.
Let's start with what she got right:
- There is no incorrect way to respond to loss. Don't judge yourself.
- Grief is a healthy and necessary process.
- Allowing your feelings to wash over you and sitting with them for a while in this accepting and nonjudgmental manner is a profound healing method.
That's all good stuff. But now, let's look at what she got wrong, because what she got wrong, she got REALLY wrong (her words in black text; my thoughts in red):
- You build resiliency by honoring and replacing what you’ve lost. Sure, honoring and repl-- wait, WHAT? I'll build resiliency by honoring and REPLACING what I've LOST? My husband was irreplaceable; so was my Mom; so was my brother; so were the other family members and friends I've lost over the years.
- Replacing your loss doesn’t mean forgetting the person who has died; it means finding a new person or persons to fill the role of friend, lover, or mentor. Oh, thanks SO MUCH for clearing that up. Let me run RIGHT out and find a new husband; THAT'LL fix everything. 🙄 Seriously, did she run this by ANYONE who's actually knowledgeable about the grieving process?
- Getting out of yourself and focusing on someone else’s needs instead of your own is a time-tested way to heal—volunteer to tutor students online or adopt a dog or cat that needs care and a loving home. Oh, honey... nobody in the throes of heavy grief is in a position to help ANYBODY. WE CAN BARELY TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES.
- Through loss, you learn to value life. Oh, HELL NO; she did NOT just say that. Somebody hold my earrings, because OH MY GOD. 🤦♀️ Lady, it may make you feel better to think that losing a loved one holds some cosmic lesson, but that doesn't make it so. PLENTY of us already valued life. PLENTY of us already took not a moment for granted. PLENTY of us DIDN'T NEED A FUCKING LESSON. You can fuck ALL the way off with this bullshit.
- It’s often the fire of this type of experience that burns away what is false and not serving you, and in rising from the ashes, you can become your most authentic, best self. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? Many of us were already our authentic selves; many of us were already our best selves precisely BECAUSE of the person who died. HOLY SHIT, this woman may be a phenomenal marriage and family counselor, but she should never, NEVER, NEVER write on grief again without getting some serious education on the subject first.
If you need professional assistance with grief, I beg you: find a grief counselor. Don't assume that any PhD or PsyD or MSW who hangs out a shingle can help you just because they're a credentialed therapist or mental health counselor. I see both a therapist and a grief counselor, because each has a very different skill set; sure, there's some overlap, but this is NOT one of those Venn diagrams that's a circle.
And now I'm gonna go turn on my Oculus and beat up the virtual heavy bag for a while, because I need it after reading that steaming pile of bullshit.