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When Grief is Hidden
Everybody deals with loss differently. Many people are immediately sad and devastated. Some people, however, express no sorrow. This second group is often told “it will hit you later.” But what if it doesn’t?
According to a bereavement study performed by Columbia University psychology professor George Bonanno, not all people grieve. Almost half of the people studied showed no sadness or disruption of their lives due to the loss of a loved one. Were they cold and unfeeling people? Not at all, Bonanno reported.
This is the common misconception – if I don’t feel sadness, I am a bad person. I should be really devastated right now. But grief is not obligatory, and some people will just never feel that type of sadness. It’s important to not feel that you have to force “normal” emotions after a loss. Feel what you’re feeling, and don’t be ashamed if your feelings are not what people are expecting.
Have you ever felt the need to publicly show more grief than you’re actually feeling in order meet people’s expectations? How do you handle that? [Discovery Health]