Grief is a complex process, yet it is innately present in us. In fact, it is a subject that is a big field of study for behavioural psychologists. While it may be difficult to get a handle on how exactly grief works, what we know is that there are some things we can do to ease the process of grief and accelerate the healing journey.
Commonly referred to as mourning rituals, these actions are often very simple in and of themselves. Yet, it is the significance of honouring the departed and process of coming to terms with the loss that really benefits a grieving heart.
Amidst the fast-paced society today, you may be tempted to skip any mourning rituals and attempt to get back to life straight away. But here are some modern mourning rituals that won’t take up a lot of time, and can immensely help to heal your loss.
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1. Cook the departed’s favourite meal
Honour your departed loved one by sharing in their favourite meal with people close to you. It’s amazing how the multisensory experience of preparing, smelling, and tasting the food can bring up waves of memories about the person.
As you have the meal, it is also a wonderful opportunity to connect with others who are also grieving, share your experiences, and support one another. All in all, food is a very approachable way to celebrate life and revisit old memories.
2. Retain an item that reminds you of the deceased
Memories can feel like a very intangible thing, especially after the person whom you shared it with has gone. What really helps is to hold on to one or a few items that remind you of moments with this person. It could be something they owned, or something they gifted to you.
Being able to keep such an item, think about the stories it holds, and even talk about it to a trusted family member or friend, do wonders in facilitating one’s processing of grief.
3. Use art as therapy
Some people find art as a brilliant outlet for coping, expressing and regulating one’s emotions. Even something as simple as colouring can be hugely therapeutic, due to its calming, repetitive movements. Those who wish to take a more flexible approach can also create their own art, be it through painting, pottery, or anything else. As you do art as a form of grief therapy, you begin to see its beauty and find release through what you make.
4. Write a letter to your loved one
Often, when someone departs the world, we may be left with regrets of things we wish we could have said to them. Writing a letter with all these words left unsaid is a deeply personal and meaningful way to put to rest all those unresolved feelings. If you wish, you can bury or burn the letter afterwards. This can be used symbolically as a sign of hope that the message will reach the deceased in their afterlife.
Everyone has their own ways of dealing with grief. Some hold fast to traditional rituals like Buddhist funeral customs, while others prefer more ‘modernised’ ways like the above. Whichever means you choose, the importance of facing grief and coming to terms with loss is undeniable.
With that said, the funeral service itself is also a platform for honouring the deceased. For professional funeral arrangement services, let us help you conduct a dignified send-off according to your or the deceased’s wishes.