What If You Don’t Want to Talk About Grief?

We receive so many messages about how we’re supposed to talk about and process grief. On the one hand, there’s often a societal expectation to acknowledge grief, stay strong, and resume back to normal life quickly. On the other hand, there’s more discussion about the benefits of really processing emotions and being present with the tsunami of feelings that grief can bring. But what if you genuinely don’t want to talk about grief? What if you’re tired of people asking how you’re holding up? What if talking about it is making it worse?

It’s important to remember that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all grief journey. Everyone can and does process loss differently and in their own way. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.

It’s Okay to Only Talk About Your Feelings With Certain People

There is no rule that you need to share your innermost feelings with anyone who asks. While some people feel comfortable talking about their emotions openly, others have a natural affinity toward being more selective and private.

If you identify more with the latter group, it’s important to affirm yourself by knowing that you get to choose how you process your feelings. You may prefer to only talk about your grief with a specific family member or close friends.

For instance, if your father died, you may really only want to talk about the loss with your siblings. There can be a sense of camaraderie in talking about your dad’s death with people who knew him and are now experiencing similar waves of emotion. But it’s okay if you tend to be more reserved around coworkers or other close friends.

Not Talking About Grief Doesn’t Mean Not Experiencing Grief

In a society that leans toward more extroverted tendencies, some people feel guilty or worried that not talking somehow means they aren’t actually grieving. This simply isn’t true. Your emotional pain is always real, no matter how you choose to express it.

It’s important to honor your personal preference regarding how you choose to speak about your situation. Ultimately, you’re allowed to decide how you want to steer the conversation, if you want to cry in front of others, and how you want to ask for support.

Consider Joining a Grief Group During Your Grief Journey

It can be hard to talk about grief if you aren’t sure how receptive other people will be to your feelings. You may also worry about burdening your family or friends.

A grief support group offers compassion, strength, and practical tools for coping with grief. There is no pressure to participate or act a certain way. Group members are simply encouraged to support one another and offer healthy ways to manage stress.

Although every grieving person grieves differently, most people find a valuable sense of kinship being among like-minded individuals during the first few months after a loss.

It’s Okay to Try to Resume a Sense of Normalcy

Although it’s important to acknowledge your feelings, some people need a sense of routine to maintain their well-being after a loss. You may find that you don’t want to talk about grief because it upsets or distracts you from taking care of other important responsibilities.

That said, it’s important to be compassionate to yourself during this vulnerable time. If you’re trying to avoid your feelings or not make other people uncomfortable, you may prolong your own suffering. This can affect both your emotional and physical health.

You May Have Already Significantly Grieved

It’s not uncommon for people to experience a sense of relief after certain kinds of losses.

For example, if your mom died after battling a vicious terminal illness, you may have already spent several months or years grieving her former life. Her death, therefore, may not have triggered the same intense, sad emotions that would have happened had the loss been more spontaneous.

Again, this doesn’t make your grief any less valid. It may simply mean that you’ve already deeply felt many of the common grief emotions, including anger, sadness, guilt, depression, loneliness, confusion, and fear that come with death.

Grief Therapy for Grief and Loss in Austin, TX

If you find that you want to avoid talking about your feelings- or you’re just not sure how to really ask for help or support- it may be beneficial to seek grief therapy. If you feel you’ve been suffering and don’t know how to better take care of yourself, healing is possible.

As a seasoned grief therapist, I am here to support you in navigating the uncomfortable and confusing feelings that often coincide with loss. Grief is not a mental health problem, but many people find themselves struggling with their mental health amid their grieving experiences. Working with a mental health professional can provide you with the insight, tools, and support needed during this tender time.

I welcome you to contact me today to schedule an initial consultation.

4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759

(512) 988-3363

Got Questions?
Send a Message!

By submitting this form via this web portal, you acknowledge and accept the risks of communicating your health information via this unencrypted email and electronic messaging and wish to continue despite those risks. By clicking "Yes, I want to submit this form" you agree to hold Brighter Vision harmless for unauthorized use, disclosure, or access of your protected health information sent via this electronic means.