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Grief Myth #4: Be Strong

When have you heard people offer this advice?

For parents whose spouse has died, "You need to be strong for your kids" And vice versa, for kids and helping their parents with their loss, "Be strong for your Mama"

Or how about,

“Crying is for babies”

“You need to man up”

“I’m fine” (this was my favorite response until, well, until I finally admitted that I wasn’t fine).

Did you know that we are like a tea kettle? Think about how a tea kettle works: when the water heats up in the kettle, it gets hot and hotter. When the water reaches beyond boiling point, there's an outlet (a spout) that lets off steam, right?

But let’s say we change it up and put a cork in the spout—similar to stuffing down our feelings or keeping them bottled up—what happens to the tea kettle? When there is too much pressure inside, some kind of an explosion is inevitable.

For kids we call them tantrums.

For adults, well, I guess we can call them tantrums, too—or maybe we can be a little more sophisticated and call it a breakdown.

Nonetheless, it’s definitely an explosion of feelings, usually on some unsuspecting family member, co-worker, or even stranger.

At some point, I believe we’ve all heard this in some form or another, but how do we even begin to “be strong”...but what does strong even look like?

Honestly, growing up my Mom was “strong.” She was also stressed, distant, turned to alcohol for relief, isolated herself during challenging times, and short on communication…and emotionally explosive at times.

One of the things I’ve made sure to change as a parent—and helping my kids become aware of—is how to identify when an emotional explosion may be brewing, in ourselves and how to respond to others.

It begins with an awareness that what we are feeling is normal and natural. From the myths I’ve covered so far, we may feel as if we need to hide our feelings, replace them, not talk about the, or that we may be wrong for even feeling. Where did that idea come from?

By uncovering the beliefs that have been passed down to us, we can begin to choose something different and helpful.

Next, what if we were just allowed to feel the emotions as we feel them? Sometimes we can schedule a time for breakdowns. By taking time to begin understanding how you feel, what experiences still occupy your mind, and identifying your emotions will help in alleviating stress, anxiety, and overwhelm.

Last, from the information we gather, we can identify tools that have been helpful and some that weren’t so helpful. We can then move towards healing and completion in your relationships and experiences.

The Grief Recovery Program has been helping people for over 40 years, all over the world, to:

~Bring awareness to the myths that have been passed along to them ~Identify how these myths affect their everyday lives and relationships ~Begin identifying feelings and emotions around experiences in their lives ~Recover and heal from any type of loss ~Learn new tools to help deal with future challenges and losses

If this sounds good to you, together we can begin unraveling the things that have been passed down to you and move towards completion in your experiences and relationships.

As always, however you are feeling today, you are never alone. I am here for you. I encourage you to give me a call 951.523.7959, send me an email at or schedule a call.

**If you know someone who would benefit from our services, please do not hesitate to share this email or my information**

I promise you, I may not know what to say or do, but I can always be a huge heart with ears.

I believe in you,


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