Everyone knows losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences there is — but people don’t always talk about how isolating the experience can be, especially when you’re trying to put on a brave face.
“When somebody dies and becomes removed from our lives, the memories of them are painful. What I want people to know is that they’re not the only person experiencing that,” says Maggie Kent, Co-owner of Croxford Funeral Home & Crematory in Great Falls. She envisions grief as a door or barrier between you and the person you’ve lost, and between you and those around you — and she wants people to know they CAN get through that door.
The key is sharing the experience with others instead of turning inward. Kent’s husband, Drew, Co-owner and Funeral Director at Croxford, always tells families, “Grief shared is grief diminished.”
Here are three steps you can take to survive your grief and let others in.
- Talk, Talk, Talk
Even though talking can be difficult, the first step you should take is to open up about it. Talk about the person you’ve lost and share your memories.
“It can be painful to even hear or say their name, but you have to share those memories you have of the person,” Kent says. “It’s your first step in healing as an individual and community. That group sharing moment is pivotal.”
- Let Yourself Cry
Don’t shy away from moments that make you cry, Kent says. It’s normal to want to hold back tears and put on a brave face, but tears are an essential part of the grieving process. “If it’s turning on a song that makes you cry, let yourself cry and listen all the way through,” suggests Kent. “Maybe next time the song will make you smile like it used to.”
When grieving, your body physically needs those releases. “Holding back too many tears and frowns takes a physical and emotional toll on you,” Kent says.
- Take Your Time
Be patient with yourself and realize you don’t have to rush through it. Everybody grieves in their own way and on their own timeline.
“Everyone has a unique relationship with the person you lost,” Kent says. “You can’t look at a sister and say, ‘She seems to be doing fine; what’s wrong with me?’ Give yourself the freedom to grieve at your own pace.”
There are many local resources available if you need support through your healing process. It’s important to lean on others and get all the help you might need. “Grief builds up like responsibility and burdens you,” Kent says. “But when you share it with others, you share that burden, and it becomes lighter on your own shoulders and your own heart.”
Croxford Funeral Home & Crematory creates personalized services to best honor your loved ones. Their staff members are the leading funeral experts in the Great Falls area. For more information, call (406) 453-0315 or visit them online.
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