Self Talk That Keeps Mourners from Healing

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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