Though grief happens every day, it looks different for everyone. When you lose a loved one, it can feel like your whole earth is shattered. As you process your emotions while handling a funeral, you may feel lost, angry, or numb. Luckily, some commonalities among grieving friends and family members across the board can help you to understand your own grief better and muster up the strength to handle a funeral.
The Grieving Process:
- Your journey through grief depends on several factors, including your relationship with the deceased, your own history with death, your involvement in post-death tasks, and external factors in your life. The five stages of grief are commonly referred to, yet many people don’t fully understand how these stages work. Though they are typically listed as one through five, they do not necessarily occur chronologically, and many people will move between the stages in a repetitive cycle. There is no timeline to grief, and you may sit in the stages for minutes, days, months, or years.
Handling a Funeral:
- When planning the funeral for a loved one, it is important to find support. Lean on friends and family members and be reassured that you don’t have to do everything alone. Find a funeral home where you feel comfortable and allow people to help when they offer. No matter who you are, when the day of the funeral comes, you can take a few steps to prepare yourself for a difficult service. Always follow the dress code imposed by the family. While standard attire is semi-formal and dark colors, some families will request that attendees wear bright colors or fun patterns. Remember to take care of your physical needs (eating, sleeping, staying hydrated) before the funeral, and remain mindful of your emotional state throughout the service. Try not to repress any emotions, as this is a safe place to express your feelings. Listen to the stories and memories shared about your loved one and do your best to remember the fond times during their earthly presence. Glance around the room and observe all of the people who are there because they also love the person who has passed. Find comfort in knowing that your loved one is resting peacefully, and take care of yourself in the days and weeks following the funeral by reaching out to friends and family and accepting support when needed.