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Grief is and grief is not…

Sometimes in our grief, navigating the expectations of others around us can be challenging. We may feel pressured to “move on” or hide our grief from others for fear of being judged. Maybe, even someone gives you some well-meaning advice that makes you feel worse. We have put together the following chart to help you educate family and friends who may not understand what you are going through and as a way to validate your own grief experience. We hope these will help you see that you are “doing grief” the way that is right for you and that it is ok to struggle, but we are always here to support you.


Grief is…

a journey and can sometimes feel pretty messy.

wanting to still say your person or pet’s name.

having waves of emotion hit you at the strangest times.

needing to give yourself a break now and then.

asking for support.

sometimes putting your needs first.

an individual experience.

finding what feels right for your journey.

sometimes pretty trying.

getting out of your comfort zone to find connections.

sometimes dealing with the tough stuff.

something that grows and changes as we do.


feeling foggy somedays.

finding your new normal.

allowing yourself to do what is right for you.

a judgement free zone.

taking time to remember your person or pet.

learning it’s ok not to always feel ok.

Grief is not…

a linear set of stages to go through.

moving on and having to forget them.

 just getting over your feelings.

always needing to just push through.

having to always do it by yourself.

ignoring your needs and hoping they will go away.

the same for everyone.

feeling the pressure to do things a certain way.

always hard. Somedays might feel more “normal” than others.

isolating yourself because no one understands.

ignoring it and hoping it will just go away.

something that just ends.

something you should have to hide from others.

judging yourself for feeling that way.

struggling to have to keep everything exactly as it was.

sticking to other people’s expectations.

on anyone else’s timeline.

putting their memory on a shelf and walking away from them.

always putting on a mask of happiness.

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