When faced with the death of a loved one, it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. More than a person’s physical health, the loss of a loved one is a painful event that also affects the mourner’s mental and emotional well-being. Moreover, the emotions felt after the death of someone special can differ from one person to another. In essence, there is no one sole response to loss.
If you have attended a funeral service or about to attend one, here are some of the more common reactions you can expect among the mourners and how you can respond thoughtfully to these emotions.
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Grief is probably the most common reaction to losing a loved one. Considered a natural response to loss, this emotion usually pertains to the emotional suffering a person feels when something or someone they love dearly has been taken away. For most people, grieving is a painful process that lasts over an extended period.
Furthermore, grief can come with several effects: difficulty in sleeping, loss of appetite, a constant state of confusion, to name a few. These are normal reactions of the body to intense grief. If someone close to you is currently grieving over the loss of a loved one, be sure to be there for them during these difficult times. Your presence alone can mean a lot to someone in grief.
Guilt or regret
Guilt or regret is another common emotion felt after the loss of a family member or friend. The mourner might feel guilty or regretful about the passing, reflecting on the misfortune or perhaps considering what they could have done to prevent it. However, the emotion that a bereaved person is feeling may only be misplaced guilt. Misplaced guilt is when a person accepts the blame for an event that was beyond their control.
If you know someone dealing with feelings of guilt and regret, it is important to remind them that the passing was not their fault. Encourage them to gradually work through their emotions and forgive themselves in the process. It’s best to offer them support so they can move forward from their painful loss.
Anxiety or fear
For some, the death of a loved one can cause anxiety or fear. Losing someone close to you is not just painful, but it can also trigger worries and stir up fearful questions in a person’s mind. Questions such as “Will I be fine?”, “Will other people I love be in danger?” and “What if something happens to me as well?” are a few thoughts that might be driven by anxiety.
When reaching out to someone suffering from anxiety after the death of a loved one, it would be helpful to offer them some comforting words and reassurance. Provide a listening ear and let them share the things that are bothering them. Bear in mind that it’s best to refrain from passing any judgement, but make them feel that their emotions are valid. Additionally, if they are open to the suggestion, perhaps encourage them to face their fears and anxiety by seeking a professional counsellor.
It is normal to feel a range of emotions after experiencing a painful event, such as losing a loved one. The best thing you can do to support a mourner is to comfort them during these extremely challenging times.
Apart from supporting them morally, you can also reach out to a friend who has lost a loved one by arranging a funeral service or suggesting a funeral director to them. At Casket Fairprice, we wish to help all our clients say their final goodbyes in a proper and dignified way, so that they can start their healing process with a peaceful heart. Let us help you with a range of funeral services that are delivered with utmost care and respect.