You Are Hurting

Grievers come in all shapes and sizes. There are young grievers, old grievers, grievers who have a faith base that instructs them in certain aspects of the grieving process, and those who have no faith base at all. Yes, grievers are as diverse as the fish in the sea, and the experience of their grieving process is equally unique. But all grievers do share on thing. Yes, there is one thing that all greivers – regardless of their culture, age, or religious background have in common.


Yes, hurt.

There is pain in grief, and while each one’s level of hurting may be different, nonetheless, the hurt is there.

If you are reading this, my guess is that you are hurting. Perhaps you are hurting because someone you cared about died. Or maybe you are hurting because you’ve been coping with the aftermath of a job loss or divorce. Whatever the cause of your pain, grief and loss probably has something to do with it.

One thing I have learned as a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and a hospice employee is that no two losses are alike. We both may have lost our mother, and they may have even died at the same age and from the same disease, but still my loss and your loss will be entirely different.


Because you and I are different. And our relationships with our mothers are different. Therefore your grief experience is uniquely yours, and mine is uniquely mine.

That is why one should never, ever, tell a griever, “I know how you feel.” The truth is they do not know how they feel! How could they? They are not in that person’s skin, nor will they ever be.

Grief and Loss – The Definition

Simply defined grief and loss is the normal and natural reaction to significant emotional loss of any kind. While we never compare losses, any list would include death and divorce as obvious painful losses. Our list also includes many others:

  • Retirement
  • Pet Loss
  • Financial Loss
  • Loss of Health and Functionality

The range of emotion associated with grief is as varied as there are people and personalities. There is no list of feelings that would adequately describe one person’s emotions, much less an entire society.

Grief is individual and unique, so are the feelings and thoughts each person will have about the relationship that has been altered by death, divorce or other reasons.

grief recovery

 The Problem

While grief is normal and natural, most of the information passed on within our society about dealing with grief is not normal, natural, or helpful. Grief is an emotional response to loss, but most of the information we have learned about dealing with loss is intellectual.

The majority of incorrect ideas about dealing with loss can be summed up in six myths which are so common that nearly everyone recognizes them. Most people have never questioned whether or not they are valid. The misinformation is best described in the following:

 Six Myths

  • Time Heals All Wounds
  • Grieve Alone
  • Be Strong
  • Don’t Feel Bad
  • Replace the Loss
  • Keep Busy

 Just looking at the myth that “time heals” creates the idea that a person just has to wait and they will feel better. We have known people that waited 10, 20, 30 years or more, and still didn’t feel better. And, we know that they would tell you that not only had time not healed them, but that it had compounded the pain. The other five myths carry equally unhelpful messages.


The Solution

Recovery from loss is accomplished by discovering and completing all of the undelivered communications that accrue in relationships. We are all advised to “Let Go”, and “Move On” after losses of all kinds. Most of us would do that if we knew how.

Completion of the pain caused by loss is what allows us to let go and move on. It is almost impossible to move on without first taking a series of actions that lead to completion.

Before taking the actions to complete, it is important to look at and often dismiss some of the ideas or myths that we have tried to use with loss, but which are not working.


What Others Are Saying About Debbie Simler-Goff’s Grief Support Group. 

“I really didn’t think the program was working for me, but I kept coming because Debbie was charming and I didn’t want to disappoint her. Then in the 2nd to the last session the light bulb went on and I realized that after my wife died, I had made her into some kind of god and that was preventing me from moving forward.” –Arthur


“I had just moved my husband to the dementia wing of the assisted living where we live when the Grief program was offered. I attended the informational session and felt for the first time that someone finally understood what I was going through.” –Mary Lou


“Our only son was special needs and died last year. My husband and I attended the Debbie’s group sessions together. I thought I was coming to work on my problems with losing my son, but I discovered that I was actually hurting from a completely unrelated loss.” – Jan

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