Posted on: 10 October 2017Share
We all deal with grief differently, and there is no doubt that the same death can impact two people very differently. No matter how close you are to the person who has passed away, you may experience deep, sudden grief or a more gradual sadness. No matter the case, it is helpful to understand how grief often occurs.
It was Elisabeth Kubler-Ross who established the concept of the five stages of grief in a book she wrote in the 1960s. While we do not all go through the same steps in the same order, it is helpful to understand the concept of each stage so that you can better grieve. You might not realize it now, but funerals can actually help you move through the stages.
Denial encompasses a variety of emotions, often stemming from shock. Feelings associated with shock include disorientation and overwhelming thoughts. A funeral can help with this by providing a sense of reality. It can ground you and show you that you are not alone.
In discussing grief, anger can be directed at anybody in the vicinity. This can include friends, family members, or even the deceased themselves. A funeral provides you with an outlet so that you can see how others are coping with similar pain.
You might also think of the bargaining stage of grief as the "what if?" stage. This is the time during which people think about what they could have done differently, often stemming from guilt. A funeral can make the death seem much more real, but it can also give you the opportunity to express these feelings in an open forum, garnering support.
Depression is a perfectly normal emotional response to grieving. The symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness and lack of joy. While no ceremony will be able to take away from the sadness you feel, the ongoing show of support from other attendees will help you along your way.
Finally, you may reach a point where you feel comfortable accepting that the death has occurred. While you may not be happy or even content, you understand that your life has changed and it is time to begin fitting into this new world. When you look back at the funeral, you may be grateful for how people showed up for you and your loved one. This allows you to foster other healthy relationships.
Finally, remember that emotions are often tense after a death, and there is no reason you should feel that you are grieving "wrong." If you do feel the need to talk about your feelings, support groups, therapy, and family members may all be fantastic choices for coping.