There is a wide range of types of funerals. Some call for you to wear all black, while others allow people to passionately celebrate the life lived. No matter their style, however, funerals can remain difficult and intimidating for those who attend. Let’s go over how to prepare yourself for attending a funeral both mentally and physically.
Speak With People Beforehand
Grief is suffocating. It demands that you isolate yourself, hide how you feel, and avoid becoming a burden on others. While it’s easier said than done, you need to ignore this earworm and push through the anxiety so that you can express yourself to others.
Seeking these connections with others is an all-important aspect of recovery. Whether you talk with family, friends, or coworkers, the ability to communicate even the concept of attending a funeral gives you a chance to breathe again. It often provides new insights from those around you who have been through similar situations before.
Get Accustomed to the Setting
Funerals tend to have a heavy weight in the air as everyone processes their thoughts and wonders what words are appropriate to share. This feeling is a common cause of funeral anxiety. One way to combat it is to do what you can to adjust to the setting before you’re in it.
If the funeral is in a funeral home, look up pictures online or visit beforehand to get familiar with the space. You can also put on the clothes you wish to wear and make sure they’re comfortable and used to them before you attend.
Know Your Body
Stress, anxiety, and grief create an unpleasant mix that tends to turn people’s stomachs or pushes them toward unpleasant vices. You know your body better than anyone else and need to keep in mind your physical needs as you prepare to attend.
If you get thirsty when stressed, pack extra water bottles for yourself. If you know you’ll stress-eat at the funeral, consider eating a significant meal beforehand so that you’re full. Finally, if your stress typically leads to an upset stomach, decide if eating close to the event is worth it.
Unfortunately, knowing how to prepare yourself for attending a funeral is only half of the battle. Seeing the faces of loved ones and sharing in that grief is an indescribable experience that shakes many to their foundations. Remember to stay kind to yourself, no matter what happens, what you think, or how you feel. This experience is painful and often feels impossible to get through, but you are not the first to experience it, and you are not alone.