Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, and during the grieving process many people tend to turn inward and keep their feelings to themselves. While it can certainly be tough to open up, sharing your grief and communicating how you feel is an essential part of healing.
“Grief shared is grief diminished,” says Drew Kent, co-owner and funeral director at Croxford Funeral Home & Crematory in Great Falls. “I really try to preach that. Sharing and communicating is the only way to remember that person in a positive way and bring their memory back to you.”
Communicating how you feel is key — both for processing your own emotions and for celebrating your loved one’s life. Here are six ways to open up and share your grief.
- Don’t Shy Away From Saying the Person’s Name
After someone has passed, friends and family might feel like they shouldn’t mention the person or even say their name. But, Kent says, “You never want the person who’s passed away to be the elephant in room. Talking about them allows walls to be broken down and allows everyone to remember them and celebrate them and their life.”
- Reach Out to Friends and Family First
Make yourself available and reach out instead of waiting for people to contact you. “A lot of times people will shut themselves in,” Kent says. “Call people, talk to them, and allow people to call and talk to you. Make it a priority to reach out to friends and family and see how they’re doing.”
- Relive the Happy Memories
Celebrating that person will help you open up and allow others to celebrate them, too. “That could be listening to your wedding song again, reading their favorite books, reliving photo albums, or maybe revisiting places you visited together,” Kent says.
- Write Down Your Feelings
“Sitting down and journaling how you feel on a day-to-day basis helps,” Kent says. Keeping a diary can help you sort out your feelings, and it can also help you keep track of your memories of that person.
- Attend a Grief Support Group
“A lot of people find comfort in community,” Kent says. He recommends finding a grief meeting in your area where you can sit down with others who are going through the same thing.
- Have a Place to Go to Visit Your Loved One
Go to the cemetery or plot where they’re buried or the place where their ashes are scattered. Even if no one else is there, don’t be afraid to talk out loud to them.
Grieving is different for everyone, but remember that you don’t have to hold your feelings inside. It’s important to open up and talk it out. There are many local resources available if you need support through your healing process.
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 at CroxfordFuneralHome.
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