Self Talk That Keeps Mourners from Healing

asphalt blue sky clouds countryside
Photo by Nextvoyage on

These are common beliefs shared with me by grief counseling clients and grief group members that prevent mourners from healing and steal their hopes of progressing in healthy ways  through grief:

  • Expressing my grief emotions shows weakness.
  • Giving into grief and expressing it just makes me sadder and doesn’t make anything better.
  • There is nothing I or anyone can do or say to change things.
  • Crying in front of others will make others see me as weak or out of control.
  • My loved one wouldn’t want me to grieve.
  • I shouldn’t be sad.  I should be happy for my loved one (who is in a better place, because he is no longer suffering)
  • No one wants to hear about my problems.
  • I don’t want to be a burden to others.
  • No one will allow me to grieve.
  • My grief comes from my selfishness in wanting my loved one back.
  • Mourning is throwing a pity party for myself.
  • I am a private person when it comes to feelings and I cannot let others know I am grieving.
  • I don’t have time for grief.
  • Once you give into grief you will not be able to get out of it.
  • If you have the right perspective, there is no need to struggle with grief.
  • Since I am a Christian and believe thatI will see my loved one again, I won’t grieve.
  • Death is part of life.  I just need to forget and get over it.

    Written by Larry M. Barber, LPC-S, CT author of the grief survival guide “Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise”  available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or grief survival guide is also available in Spanish as “El Amor Nunica Muere: Aceptando el Dolor con Esperanza y Promesa” on

    Larry is the director of GriefWorks, a free grief support program for children and their families in Dallas TX



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Wendy says:

    Hello…I feel that you have captured the ‘beliefs’ that we hold in our society around grief in your list. Sometimes those beliefs are so ingrained that we can’t move on. Thank you for presenting these beliefs for all of us to consider.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. These are what mourners tell me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s