Recovering from a Loss

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Four Tips For Being Around Grieving People At A Funeral

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Everyone grieves in a different manner, which means that when you attend a funeral, you'll likely come in contact with people who are dealing with their sorrow in a variety of ways. Some people will be quiet, while others will cry loudly -- and others will exhibit behavior somewhere between these two ends of the spectrum. It can be slightly uncomfortable to be around people when they're grieving, but whether it's the immediate family members of the person who has passed away or just other attendees, you'll feel more at ease by preparing for these encounters. Here are some tips for being around grieving people at a funeral.

You Don't Need To Provide A Solution

It's often human nature to want to solve the problem for people who are upset, but it's worthwhile to remember that there's no immediate solution to someone experiencing grief after the loss of a loved one. Remember that it's perfectly acceptable to listen quietly and not try to fix the person's problem. Keeping this tip in mind can make you feel calmer in the presence of grieving individuals because you won't be struggling to suggest a solution.

You Shouldn't Feel Obligated To Deal With Angry People

Some people show grief through anger, which can certainly feel uncomfortable for those around them. If you find yourself in a conversation with someone who is increasingly becoming angry as a result of grief, you don't have to upset yourself by remaining in the conversation -- even if you do initially want to show your support. Simply excuse yourself and go to another room at the funeral home, step outside, or seek privacy in the bathroom.

You Can Use Gentle Physical Contact

While simply standing with the person in grief and lending an ear can be immeasurably helpful, another way that you can show your support during the grieving process is through physical contact. You don't need to go overboard with a huge hug -- something simple such as a squeeze on the shoulder or upper arm or a two-handed handshake can provide support. This is especially ideal if you're struggling with knowing what to say to the person, as actions can sometimes speak louder than words.

Less Can Be More

Talking too much is something that many people do when they're nervous, and it's only natural for a case of the nerves to appear when you're at a funeral. Try to remember that you don't need to fill any silent pauses with conversation. This can be off-putting to some people in grief and, if you're talking nervously, there's always the risk that you'll say something that comes out wrong. Remember that it's perfectly fine to limit your talking -- after all, your presence alone is strongly showing your support.