Arranging a Funeral
A funeral represents a purposeful opportunity to reflect on a life that has been lived and to honor the memory of that life for family and friends. There is no single proper funeral service. Funerals provide a time for human sharing in its deepest sense. You and your loved ones are at the very center of the process, and the choices you make will determine the funeral's significance for you. By participating in the planning of the service, you will help create a meaningful experience for everyone.
When a death occurs, call a funeral director immediately. Regardless of the day or time, funeral directors are always prepared to respond to your needs quickly and competently and to guide you through the array of choices that need to be made.
If possible, try to make planning the funeral a joint effort with other family members or very close friends. Working together can sometimes lessen the burden and further enable the healing process.
Generally, a funeral or memorial service is held in a funeral home or a place of worship. A gathering with the body present is a funeral service. If the body is not present, the gathering is usually referred to as a memorial service. Whether you choose to bury, cremate or place the deceased in an aboveground vault, you may arrange either a memorial or funeral service. It is often customary to have a period of visitation at the funeral home. During this time the casket may be open or closed, according to the family's preferences. Your funeral director can guide you through the wide range of decisions that have to be made. Those decisions may include choosing a casket, a vault and or an urn, the type of service and who will preside, and a method for people to express their sympathy, such as flowers or donation to the deceased's favorite charities.
Ways to Cope
Have a Funeral, Visitation or Memorial Service.
Each of these services brings family and friends together and help the grieving form a support network. Most guides want to help the grieving in any way they can. They may offer to help with any difficulties you are experiencing, or they may offer their companionship.
The best way to deal with sadness is to communicate it to others. Share your favorite stories of your loved one. This will not only make it easier to talk about the death but also help you form lasting memories. Find Hope.
Form relationships with people who have experienced similar grief. They will reassure you that the pain will ease and that life will get better. Live a Healthy Life.
Stress and grief are exhausting emotions. Exercise and nutrition will help you regain energy and strengthen your immune system. Make sure you also get plenty of rest. Make Small Plans.
During the grieving process it is important to go out and interact with others. Go on a walk with a friend or make a date for lunch. These activities will help you get through each day and ease your transition back into a normal routine.
Coping with grief is not any easy task. Allow yourself plenty of time to experience emotions and grow to accept a new life without your loved one in your own time. Remember that it is important and healthy to grieve. Find individuals to talk to whom have had similar losses and keep your friends and family informed on what you need throughout your healing process.
Your Grieving Experience
No one is ever fully prepared to lose a loved one. At times the pain may feel unbearable. Grieving individuals experience a roller coaster of emotions. One day they feel okay and the next are overwhelmed with sadness. The grieving process is different for everyone, and the level of grief depends on a number of factors. How close you were to the person who died and how prepared you were for his or her death, are big factors in the level of grief that an individual will experience. Although the grieving process often seems endless, it gets easier with time. Individuals suffering from grief can begin to heal when they familiarize themselves with the symptoms of grief and commit to the essential steps of the healing process.
Although everyone's grieving process is different, there are basic emotions that most people experience. The first emotion, shock, usually accompanies the news of a death. An individual may go numb or be unable to comprehend what is happening. A person in shock may practice everyday tasks but is unable to feel anything. Denial typically follows shock. Even though a person knows their loved one is gone, they may not be able to accept the truth.
A Friend's GuideFinding the right words, fear of saying the wrong ones, and perhaps a lack of direct understanding leave many people feeling uncomfortable when reaching out to a grieving friend. Often, we feel responsible for alleviating or creating additional pain for our friends in mourning. In doing so, we fail to realize the loss of a loved one cannot be enhanced or relieved by words. Bereavement is a process and friends can offer support and a listening ear, but there is no way to take away the pain from the person who has experienced the death of someone they love. Rather than worry about what to say to a grieving friend, friends should be receptive to the needs of the bereaved and offer assistance whenever possible.
How To Help During the Early Stages
Take time to sit down with a grieving friend and ask about their deceased loved one. They will be more than willing to share their favorite memories. You should also be content with silence. Sometimes when people are grieving they find it too difficult to talk but find comfort in having a friend close by.
Take over as many simple tasks as possible. Even small jobs can add to the stress of a grieving person. Offer to pick up family members from the airport for the funeral. Bring over a warm meal. Take the dog for a walk. Mention the Deceased's Name.
Mentioning the deceased's name in conversation makes it easier for everyone to talk about the death. Grieving people need to feel like their loved one has not been forgotten. Call.
Pick up the phone regularly and call your grieving friend to see how he or she is doing. Place a call within a couple of days of the funeral to let your friend know you are always free to talk. Follow-up with your friend every few days to see if they need help with anything.
How To Help During the Late Stages
Involve A Grieving Person.
Invite your friend to social occasions so they have the opportunity to meet new friends and get their mind off their loss. Plan new activities together so both of you have something to look forward to.
Holidays and anniversaries are the hardest times for people suffering from grief. Plan ahead and invite them to your home or make a visit to their home to wish them a happy holiday. Let them know that they have many friends and family members ready to help them through these difficult days.
While grieving is a necessary and healthy process, individuals can go to extremes. If a grieving person demonstrates any of these signs, they may need professional help. Communities, religious centers, hospitals and healthcare organizations have grief counseling programs and support groups.
- Weight loss
- Substance Abuse
- Prolonged sleep disorders
- Talk about suicide
- Lack of personal hygiene
The best gift a friend can give to a friend who just lost someone they love is the permission to grieve. Do not force a grieving person to return to a normal life before they are ready. Provide encouragement and allow them to go at their own pace.