After the funeral

What is grief?

Grief is an intense and internal experience in response to loss.  Everyone experiences grief differently.  For some it is felt as fear, panic, loneliness, anger, guilt, longing, or depression.

Mourning is different from grief in that it is an expression of sorrow and sadness for a dead person. Mourning is a manifestation of grief; something we outwardly display to friends and family which is often symbolised by wearing of black clothing. Grief is a normal process after any loss experience. The intensity of the grief you feel is relative to the depth of love that was held for that person.

Our emotions change from moment to moment, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and unable to function.

Grief may become more real after the business of the funeral period, when family return to their homes and everyone goes back to their “normal lives’. You may struggle to cope with loneliness and a lack of belonging that your loved one is not around.

This is a normal response to grief.

Grief is the price we pay for loving, who would not want to love or be loved!

By opening ourselves up to love, we also expose ourselves to many other emotions, both joyful and painful. Often it is the fear of forgetting or letting go of a loved one that stops us working through the painful process of our grief.

By allowing yourself to grieve as a person, you can become more compassionate, more loving and more open to others. By holding the grief in, all your energy is taken up with trying to contain your pain and this can lead to exhaustion, vulnerability, or in some cases long term depression.

Ways to help with grief

There are many ways to help the grieving process, the most important of which is to express your grief in whatever way is appropriate to you. There is no one process for all, and no specific time frame for all. Remember each tear shed is a step closer to healing. Friends that are supportive and not judgemental all assist in the grieving process. Waikanae Funeral Home have grief resource material available, and can refer you to trained grief counsellors should you require their support.

(Some grief counsellors may charge for their services).