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Healing Grief… Moment by Moment: A HOPE Connection Podcast – Ignoring The Grief Police

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“Healing Grief… Moment by Moment” is a podcast created and produced by HOPE Connection. In each short episode Dr. Jo Christner or another HOPE Connection therapist offers a meditative exploration of a different aspect of grief and the healing process. As you listen, we wish you love, light and comfort.

This episode: “Grief Police” (October 2021) – Dr. Jo Christner

This is a moment of healing.

When you’re thrown into that grief trench, it’s sometimes difficult to know if you’re grieving the “right way.”  The “right way?”  Is there a “right way” to grieve? What does that even mean? Before you know it, you will hear lots of messages about how you need to grieve, should grieve or not grieve. I’ve often heard grievers being told that “There are no grief police…” but you know what? There are and they show up all around you. They show up in our culture, in our society, in our friendships, in our family, in our own belief systems and in our world. 

We’re given messages like:

•  Don’t cry… especially if you’re a man.

•  Why can’t you cry?  What’s wrong with you? 

•  Your loved one is in a better place now so move on. Better place?  No! The better place was with me.

• They were elderly and had a good life. There is no reason to grieve.

•  It’s been a year since your loved one died — why are you still grieving?

• I was told my entire life that I’m supposed look at the positive.  What’s wrong with me?  All I do is cry.

Oh yes, there are many messages. These are the “grief police.” They can be your neighbor, your friend, your adult child, your boss, your own belief system and messages from society and our culture that have been engrained since birth.

Well… they are wrong. There is no “right” way to grieve.  There is no “wrong way” to grieve. There is your unique way to grieve.

When someone you love dies, it takes time to grieve. Not only for your loved one but for all of the pieces including your very changed life.

It’s okay to know that the “grief police” have been trained over a lifetime too. They usually mean no harm.  They just don’t realize that they can’t fix this for you. They want you to feel better.

Honor your grief. It’s connected to your Love… and most likely will be there in different forms and places for a lifetime.

Wishing you much Love and Light in healing your heart… moment by moment. 

By Jo Christner, Psy.D.