Discussing The Funeral
More than two thirds of people agree that we are reluctant to discuss death and dying and yet talking about it can provide tremendous support. Even if your spouse made practical plans for their funeral, they may not have discussed all their wishes with you so this is when it is important to talk plainly with the funeral director. Set aside plenty of time plenty of time for an initial discussion and keep in touch throughout the process with any ideas or worries you may have. A good funeral director will not only be experienced in communicating difficult information, they will be happy to hear your thoughts and deal with all your concerns. This practical help from someone who is used to dealing with death on a daily basis can be a great comfort and allows you to concentrate on dealing with your emotions at this bewildering time.
Talking About Death
Once the commotion of the funeral is over, the quiet days that follow can be very difficult as you become aware of missing simple pleasures like having someone to talk about your day with. This is when staying in contact and communicating with friends and relatives becomes so important. Talking can enable you to begin to acknowledge the reality of your loss and help you to heal. It brings relief and leads to better understanding of your feelings. In the future when you feel stronger, don’t be afraid to talk to your family and friends about death and plans you may have for your own funeral and encourage them to discuss such matters with their own partners.
Reminiscing and Sharing
As time passes, the pain of your grief will diminish but it can still be very helpful to continue talking about your loved one to keep their memory alive. Marking anniversaries and other important dates can be difficult but, in general, reminiscing is useful and enjoyable and can even help protect against depression and loneliness. Looking through photographs, hearing your spouse’s voice on family videos and sharing stories and anecdotes can all help you appreciate the time you spent together and keep your loved one in your life forever.
Once initial reluctance is overcome, talking openly about death can make an enormous difference to how people cope with bereavement and grief. Discussing where to turn to for practical guidance and emotional support brings great comfort and relief. This, in turn, allows you to cherish treasured memories of your spouse as you begin to move forward in your life.
Written for CPJ Field by Jennifer Abraham
There are various organisations which can help following the death of someone close.
- Cruse Bereavement Care – 0808 808 1677 (Weekdays, 9.30am-5pm. Open until 8pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
- Grief Encounter – 0808 802 0111 (Weekdays, 9am-9pm)
- The Laura Centre – 0116 2182140 (Tuesday-Thursday, 12.30am-2.30pm)
- Bereavement Advice Centre – 0800 634 9494 (Weekdays, 9am-5pm)
- The Compassionate Friends – 0345 123 2304 (UK National helpline, open every day from 10am-4pm and 7pm-10pm)