A Grief Support Blog

This blog will allow you the opportunity to acquire both support and guidance after experiencing a significant loss.

Grief Myths: Will Keeping Busy Help You Recover From Loss?

Has anyone ever suggested you keep busy following a loss?


Have you tried it?


Did it help you recover or was it merely a distraction?


The idea that keeping busy will fix your broken heart is one of the major grief myths about recovering from loss. 







Why Keeping Busy Doesn’t Work


Somewhere along the line we all learned that keeping busy would heal our broken hearts.  The idea is if greivers stay busy enough they won’t have time to grieve.


Have you tried it?


Keeping busy might actually work short term, but it doesn’t help you recover from loss. There is no way to stay busy enough that you will forget your heart is broken.


All keeping busy does is keep you distracted.


No one likes to feel bad, so it makes sense to want a distraction. But distraction isn’t recovery. Avoiding normal and natural feelings of grief could even make grief last longer. Facing grief head on is the least painful way to recovery from loss in the long run.

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Grievers are the most courageous people in the world. You suit up and show up everyday no matter how much your heart aches. Changing old habits on how you deal with grief takes a lot of courage. If you want to more about misinformation we all were taught about grief, and what to do about it, check out our 2 Day Personal Grief Workshops. You deserve it. 

If you found this article helpful, we suggest  you also consider reading:

Grief Resources: Why Keeping Busy is a Bad Plan when Grieving (Grief Myths Part 6)

Time Does Not Heal, Actions Do

Or you can search our Grief Blog for articles.



It has been over two years since my son died,

June 11, 2011 so suddenly and we, his sister

and I still miss him so much. It does seem true

time heals but his memory is as real as ever.

I am beginning to think this is how it will\

be but I do not breaj down and cry like U dud

just have lingering sad feeling

Aloha Gwen, Think what you're feeling is NORMAL. I was widowed 7 mo ago n lost two children 20+ yrs ago, with many more losses in between. Each is different, each day is different, each moment is different. We all make an effort to remember them with joy n love, as they were n wanted to be remembered. In some cases they'd specifically said so. Just writing this to you is bringing back LOTS of memories, some making me laugh other causing a few tears. So... I'm laughing n crying at the same time. Not unusual either. With this aspect of grieving, as with the rest, there is no "correct" answer. Things pop up in life that you never realized that connection before. For some, especially when the loss is fresh, EVERYTHING reminds them. Just try not being reminded when you're a widow or as you watch siblings n friends grow up n growing old! Whether you bust out in tears or smile a bit wistfully, it's all NORMAL. Sometimes for me the nature of the loss is a factor. If it wasn't pretty this can add some less than pretty memories. Others, especially those who expired due to the relentless march of time, their deaths were a relief of sorts. When you see it coming for a long time n much suffering has happened, or is happening.

This is the first time I've answered something like this, although life has prepared me well, lol. Had to stop n roll a smoke, get myself back together. Still getting used to the title of Widow n my "late" husband. Just found this site when I searched "what to do when you are widowed". This was a first too...7 mos after it occurred. Obviously I'm not a pro. The only article I've read so far is Ten things NOT to say to a new widow. Yup, it contains all of the usual suspects. The 65 comments have more zingers. Tried to recall some of the great ones I'd heard but had failed to record for all posterity. Most came from close loved ones where a continuing relationship was guaranteed n this wasn't something that I wanted to recall.

Sure you guys have heard plenty with regard to losing a child/sibling. One of my favorites is "No parent should outlive their child" This one seems to come from young mothers, mostly. No one over forty. Even my husband was one of seven "surviving" children. Is it ever over? Judging from my, my daughter n mom-in-law's experiences, NO. The concept of not out living ones children is VERY recent, used to be the usual for as long as humans have been around. Modern medicine hasn't eliminated this, just made it a little less likely. I'm sure this is "comforting" for the young parents. Or the ever popular "Well at least you only knew them for x amount of time." Ummm, yeah. Please tell this to my MIL who only a few years ago realized that she needed to "forgive" her wonderful husband for miscarriages/stillbirth/lost shortly after births that occurred 50-60 yrs ago. They're both in their 90s, no, he hadn't done anything to cause them. I had to ask why she was holding him responsible. Initially she didn't know, but this allowed her to explore those feelings, which was helpful.

Then, when my husband died, I'd called her first at her request. What did she do? I woke the next day to find that she'd posted as obituary of sorts on OUR Facebook page! One of the things we'd spoken about was that I hadn't been able to contact all the kids yet n she'd promised not to spread the word till later. Half of our kids n grandkid were notified by FB! I only found out when I resumed making calls n the first one said they already knew. What was discovered was a LONG obit that talked of no one but her, although in the initial sentence she did mention her husband, his father. Was it rude n hurtful? I'm not sure, no doubt in recent years she's become "forgetful n mean", her words. The three of us trying to avoid showing up on the radar of a stalker found ourselves very busy. Other friends n relations wound up wondering who the strange guy was asking about me. The only solution was to not tell anyone where I was outside our immediate family n close friends who understood the importance of not giving out personal info. He almost succeeded anyways. Our daughter became suspicious of her husband's new friend when he told them he was an ex n wanted to get back together. Charming. Then ma followed up her post with others equally nice like " Cyn will be continuing to post on his page". We have only ever had one, it's clearly labeled with both of us, although people have had difficulty figuring out which had written things. Probably because the answer is both. Some have gotten hostile about our closeness, go figure. Then came the "little family service". She forgot to invite the guest of honor. No, not me n most of the kids, him. Yes, I knew before it happened n when people would ask for details I had to admit that I didn't know, I haven't been invited. Could I have found that out, of course, but I'd no intention of crashing her pity party. Besides providing an opportunity for the stalker to ??? Sweet, it just keeps getting better. Love n laughs to you both.

Everyone grieves in different ways and for different lengths of time, although the pain of missing someone will never go away. Just came across a helpful resource page on http://www.wojciksfuneralchapel.com/ that talks about the grieving process - "No one will respond to the death of someone loved in exactly the same way. While it may be possible to talk about similar phases shared by grieving people, everyone is different and shaped by experiences in their own unique lives. Because the grief experience is also unique, be patient."

Thank you, Bre. Yes, that is very much true. Everyone grieves differently. Every relationship is unique, therefore everyone grieves in their own unique way. We have many other blog articles on the different ways people grieve.

Obviously it won't help to bring a person back to go about your life and live your life But it helps to make yourself not fall into a depression or be completely miserable. When you lose someone, you can never fully be whole again. There is nothing that can fill that void. But doing things and going about your life can help minimize the pain. Yes, it still hurts but not more than just laying there doing nothing.

Obviously it won't help to bring a person back to go about your life and live your life But it helps to make yourself not fall into a depression or be completely miserable. When you lose someone, you can never fully be whole again. There is nothing that can fill that void. But doing things and going about your life can help minimize the pain. Yes, it still hurts but not more than just laying there doing nothing.

Carnt get over losing dad
Please help

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