Funeral Home Advice on How to Cope with Grief After a Funeral

Funeral Home Advice on How to Cope with Grief After a Funeral

A funeral can provide closure after a loved one’s passing, but many people are caught unprepared for the renewed sense of loss on significant anniversary days. Birthdays, Christmas, the anniversary of their death, can all bring back the pain of their loss as a fresh wound months, even years after their passing. This is a perfectly normal part of the grieving process and should considered around these special days. By being prepared for these times, it is possible to experience this grief in a healing fashion and mitigate the fresh pain without suppressing those painful memories.

Be Prepared for Significant Days

You may well be prepared for the fresh sting of loss that the anniversary of your loved one’s death may bring; however, significant holidays such as Christmas, wedding anniversaries, and birthdays often catch people by surprise. Make a list of significant days in your departed loved one’s life and plan to grieve on those days. Set aside some time to simply remember the sad passing as well as the happy times in their life. Expect that tears will flow, even in otherwise happy days such as Christmas. Understand that grieving will be a part of those days and make a place for it. This will eliminate the surprise of grief, and you will be better able to manage it.

Give Social Media a Thought

Social media accounts continue even when a loved one has passed. According to a recent study, by 2012, there were already 30 million Facebook users who had died, leaving their Facebook accounts to live on behind them. Take some time to consider how to address your departed loved one’s social media accounts soon after their death. You may choose to close the account or keep it alive for people to express their feelings in the years after their death. By planning for how these accounts will be handled, you reduce the risk of being blindsided by some well-meaning post.

Create a Meaningful Ritual

Rituals have been a part of dealing with significant events since the dawn of time. By regularly participating in a familiar event, we allow the mind to cope with the reality of a loved one’s passing and move beyond grief to easier memories. Consider taking the time to bring flowers to a graveside or to visit a favorite location on a regular basis. A treasured song or poem listened to or read aloud at this time can create the sense of familiarity as well. You may want to have a parting phrase that you always end with such as, “Until I see you again,” or, “Goodbye for now,” that creates a sense of finality to the ritual that allows you to move on. Far from minimizing your
grief, these rituals can add significance to their memory while allowing you to move beyond the pain.

Whatever steps you choose to take to prepare for significant dates on the calendar, simply being aware of the potential for renewed grief on those days can help ease the burden of grief. Your love for them is not measured by the depth of your pain at their passing, but in the joy you experienced in their life.

Sources:
www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-d- erlich md/grief_b_1164254.html
www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/05/coping-with- anniversary-reactions- in.html
www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/researchbio/research/anniversary_reactions_pro.asp
www.bbc.com/future/story/20160313-the- unstoppable-rise- of-the- facebook-dead

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