The Fallacy of Letting Go

Pam Engelbert

Let it Go! Contrary to what you might think, this blog is not about a certain song that won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2014. Instead, I am referring to a phrase that Americans commonly use in response to a person’s pain. These words are often spoken when the listener believes it is time for the one in need of care to simply move on. This phrase may be heard when someone is experiencing a loss, and the listener deems that the grieving has continued long enough.

Unfortunately, those three words “let it go” may unintentionally inflict more pain on the bereaved. They imply that the bereaved has the power to instantly release the pain. These words may communicate, “It’s your own fault that you are hurting.” In some instances, the griever may hear that the pain is not important, demonstrating a lack of respect for the other.

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