Cultures across the world have different traditions when it comes to funerals, from elaborate ceremonies to days of fasting. Some cultures feel a deep sorrow for the loss of a loved one while others celebrate the life of the deceased and the special times that were shared. Some religions urge friends and family to send flowers to the gravesite as a sign of respect, while other religions actually see this gesture as a sign of disrespect.
Written by Karen Zinn, Founder, Heart2Soul.com copyright - 2013 Heart2Soul.com
Most of us weren't raised to know what to say or do when someone dies. Should you reach out to the family? Is it ok to call, write a note, send an email? What about knocking on the door of the grieving family to drop off a gift or meal? How do we know if we are being helpful or an intrusion? There is no clear answer when it comes to funeral sympathy.
The holidays can be an exciting time as you enjoy family company, yummy food and warm, spicy beverages. For some, the holidays are dreaded as it's a reminder that their loved one who has passed on will not be joining them in the celebrations, get-togethers and feasts. The empty seat at a holiday dinner is a constant reminder that a loved one is missing. There are ways you can help your grieving loved one get through the holidays and make it an enjoyable time of year instead of a time that is dreaded.
Today, more than ever, pets have become members of the family. Dogs and cats are no longer primarily outdoor animals that serve purposes such as rodent hunting or protection. More often than not, they are given prime space inside the home with their own beds, crates or even rooms.
In light of your recent loss, trying to figure out what is appropriate to wear to a funeral may seem trivial. But we all want to properly honor the one we love as well as show respect to the family, so what we wear isn't really trivial at all.
_ While we've all heard the rule that you always wear black to a funeral, it may be more appropriate to consider the taste of your loved one. Was their favorite color purple? Then maybe a subdued purple dress or a purple tie with your black suit is a special way to honor them.
There's a saying, "talking about death won't kill you" but then why does the topic make so many people uncomfortable? Likely it is because of the inevitability of it. Death is something none of us can escape, and something that most of us cannot predict. It's an unknown certainty - a thing we cannot control. But there are certain things we can do to "control" death while we're still alive. And although it may be uncomfortable at first, having a plan of action regarding death and dying may make you feel more at ease with the subject.
In the midst of grief over a lost loved one, it can be easy to overlook what your child may be going through. Children grieve and feel loss too, even very young children. So it's important to talk to them about what has happened and help them work through their feelings.
The amount a child can understand or grasp about death will depend on several factors including age, maturity, personality and experience. Here are a few pointers on working through death with a child:
When we know someone who has lost a loved one, we want to reach out and let them know we care. We often do this through flowers and cards and, while those things may have great intentions, they don't necessarily help the person during their time of grief.
If you've ever lost someone close to you, then you know that the anniversary of their death is something you never forget. And each year, as that date draws near, you can feel yourself going through the grieving process all over again. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking a moment each year to remember your lost loved on, to give yourself a moment to grieve, but it's also a time to celebrate their life.
Helping a friend through a time of grief can be difficult. Most of us are not comfortable talking about death or consoling someone through the death of a loved one. We all want to do something to help our grieving friend, but we're not sure what to do or say, or if they even want us to reach out.
The most important thing to remember is that you don't have to say or do just the right thing. Being there for your friend and offering help in whatever way they need will speak volumes.