Attending a loved one's funeral when you're in the middle of very raw, acute grief can be incredibly challenging. All you want to do is curl up into a ball and cry, but instead you have to attend a ceremony that will remind you of your loss, and interact with people when you may not be up to it. Many people have been in your difficult situation, and you should know that you can and will get through it. Here are four tips for doing so:
Find Solitude When Needed
While you will most likely need to interact with many people at the funeral and reception, be sure to find some alone time when you feel overwhelmed. Most funeral homes have a small, private area for family members who need to be alone. Other options include getting away to the restroom for a few moments, or even taking a break by sitting in your car for a bit. This way you can have a bit of privacy and quiet during a potentially overwhelming day.
Don't Bottle Up Your Feelings
It's perfectly acceptable to cry at the funeral. If you try to force yourself to be stoic, you will not allow yourself the relief and emotional catharsis that crying can provide. People expect a lot of tears at a funeral, so there is no need to feel self-conscious whatsoever.
Focus on the Good Memories
A funeral is of course a sad experience, but it can be simultaneously joyous and celebratory. Try to focus on the fun and happy memories you have of your loved one. By sharing these memories with other funeral attendees, you will start to work through your grief in a positive way and truly honor your loved one's memory.
You are most likely experiencing a wide range of emotions right now, possibly including anger and irritation with well-meaning friends and family who may not know the right thing to say. Aim to be as gracious and kind as possible during this time. Remember that you are not the only one grieving. You will feel better about the funeral experience if you know you behaved in a way that would make your departed loved one proud.
Your loved one's funeral can be an important way to help process your grief while honoring their memory. Remember to be gentle with yourself during this difficult time.
For a funeral home to help with the funeral arrangements, contact an organization such as Beeman-Patchak Funeral Home.
When my mom passed away, my dad and I were charged with the task of planning a funeral that everyone would love. Unfortunately, this would prove to be a difficult task, since many of my mom's relatives didn't speak English. We mulled over what to do, and we decided to meet with the funeral director for a few tips. He told us a few ideas for how to make the experience easy for everyone to understand, and we implemented his suggestions. It was incredible how much easier it made things on the day of the funeral. Read here for more funeral arrangement tips so that you aren't left stressing about more than you need to.