You know, the emotions around a service are a difficult time.
When engaging emotions at a public event, I think most people try to stay collect. And that that’s appreciated – really by everyone. Where, however, an emotional response is given, calmness is usually the best response. At least for me as a funeral director, if someone is having a really hard time with something, breaking down, weeping bitterly, um, quietness, privacy, a sense of it’s OK, this will pass. Waves of expression of this are natural, and they are welcome, and most of all: this is a safe place for that. People need to know, and we will do everything we can here to facilitate the emotional experience of death.
Grieving people are real. They are, they are keenly aware that life isn’t working. That it sucks. So walking with them, letting that be true for them, without trying to fix them, without trying to put them back together, without expecting them to be back to normal, in an artificially contrived period of time, that’s really important. So my goal is just to simply to be there. To listen and cherish whatever I find.
Number one you have to understand is, this is a common, shared experience. There is nobody in this world who I don’t think you can talk to who has not had in some way, shape or form a death or a loss in their life. So do people expect you to somehow be strong or stoic, no.
Most people actually cope quite well, because we know that death will happen – it’s inevitable. And most people cope quite well. Some people need a little extra support. We provide grief support groups at the funeral home. I facilitate them. It’s a 10 week course, couple hours on a Thursday evening. Gather folks together and provide an opportunity for them to talk about what’s happened. And to experience other people talking about what’s happened. So they don’t feel so alone.
If you are feeling grief, you are because of love, because of some connection that you’ve had – a meaningful connection – to that person and the fact that they are gone now. And to take the time, to allow yourself to mourn – and to give expressions – are in fact really you connecting with your love for that person. And there’s, there’s no shame in love.