The Funeral. It’s a strange feeling, I’m not going to deny it, waking up and knowing that today is the day you say goodbye to a loved one. For me, it made it feel more real. It also, in my most recent experiences, made me see how much the person who had died was loved by the hundreds who turned up for those funerals.
In the days leading up to both occasions I was told it would be good to say goodbye. That I would ‘feel better’ once it was done. That I just needed to ‘get it out the way’ so I could then move on. I’m not going to tell you any of those things here, because, quite frankly, it is a different experience for each and every one of us and I am certainly not going to tell you that once the funeral is ‘out of the way’ you can then begin to ‘get over it’ or ‘move on’.
You may find that the funeral comes along with a big punch in the stomach and a stab to your heart, the physical pain that someone has passed away. If you have been struggling to accept they have died, the funeral may be the day that your brain begins to really start processing the fact that they are no longer with you in person. It may provide you with some closure around the death.
The funeral may give you all or none of these feelings, you may react in other ways. All I will say is do not feel that you have to react in a certain way, that you must behave a certain way or that you have to do or say specific things. Go with your gut. Death can be very difficult and depending on the circumstances you may be dealing with things around how they died as well as the fact that you have lost someone from your life.
One thing that did give me some positivity from the funerals of a good friend and close family member, as I mentioned earlier, was the amount of people who came. Literally hundreds in each case wanted to say farewell, to show that they cared about the person who had died, to share their memories and pay their respects. You may find it helpful to hear people’s memories, their stories about that person, the fun they had together. I found it really helped to remember how much they had touched so many lives and how many cared for them and valued their friendship.
I will end this post by saying that, however you feel in these early days please remember it is still early days. There will be good days and bad, there will be times when you smile and times you just want to hide away and cry. It really is a rollercoaster and we just have to go with it and ride it out. Give yourself time, physically and emotionally, to process everything that you have experienced and everything you are feeling.