Considering a Coffin

coffin

For many of us, we want our bodies buried after our death. This means, amongst other things, that our bodies will need to be placed into coffins before being put into the earth. While coffins may seem like fairly basic purchases, there’s a lot that goes into choosing the right one. Here’s what you should know about them before making your choice.

Casket vs. Coffin?

coffin You may hear these two terms used interchangeably, which is fine. For the most part, people from the US call them caskets, where you’re more likely to hear people call them coffins around the rest of the world. The word coffin comes from the 16th century and refers to a wooden box that usually has six or eight sides. It wasn’t till the mid-19th century that people began saying casket. These are usually considered to be boxes with four sides and a split lid to make it easier for visitation. Nowadays, they come in a number of different materials too.

Do I Have to Buy One from a Funeral Home?

For the most part, the answer to this question is that no, you don’t. Funeral homes definitely sell them, but you can get them a number of other places too. Depending on the funeral home you use, it may be more affordable to use a coffin from them. On the other hand, sometimes they are overpriced. Do your due diligence by shopping around and you’ll know for sure.

Other options for purchasing coffins include online retailers. These are nice because they’ll tend to feature far more models than you’d ever be able to find at a funeral home or other local options. Plus, depending on shipping, you stand to save a lot of money by ordering your coffin off the Internet.

Though it’s rare, many people have custom caskets made. Rarer still are people who have an affinity for woodworking and can make their own.

No matter which route you go, be sure the cemetery you’ll be buried at approves of the coffin you plan on using. Also, if you find a cheaper version of one that is being sold at a funeral home, it’s worth seeing if they’ll drop their price for a more convenient option on your side of things.

Different Types of Coffins

Although the originals were made from wood, coffins have come a long way since then. Nowadays, you have a number of different materials to choose from.

Metal

metal casketMetal caskets can be made from stainless steel, bronze or copper. A stainless steel is going to be considered by the thickness, or gauge, of the metal. Bronze and copper options are sold by the weight of the coffin by square foot.

Wood

wood coffinThere are all kinds of wood you can use to make coffins these days. Popular choices are maple, ash, poplar, elm and cottonwood. Unlike wood caskets of yesteryear, these are generally polished to a beautiful lustre and feature hand-crafted designs. It’s not at all uncommon to see a wood coffin with a satin finish, providing for an amazing aesthetic.

Fibreglass

One of the nice things about fibreglass coffins is how light they are. While they can be made to size, fibreglass is often used for infants who passed away. Though many people mistakenly think that fibreglass is an inferior material, the truth is that this option is extremely strong. Plus, you can choose from all kinds of faux finishes that will make your coffin look like anything from wood to marble.

Oversized Caskets

Some people pass away when they were carrying around extra weight. Other people are simply just extremely tall. In either case, they will most likely need an oversized casket to hold their body. As the population grows in size, though, these types of caskets are becoming less of a speciality and more of a regular thing.

Added Features

coffin 2When you go to purchase a coffin, you’ll most likely hear terms like “sealed”, “protected” or “gasketed” associated with some of the models. All these words mean is that your coffin was constructed in such a way that they are capable of keeping out water from seeping in and will prevent rust from forming.

Whether or not this is important to you, know this: there is no coffin out there that can keep the body inside looking perfectly forever. Some people feel uncomfortable thinking about their loved one decomposing, but nothing can prevent this natural process from eventually happening.

There are plenty of other trimmings to think about too. For example, there will need to be handles in order for the coffin to be moved around and there are a number of different choices to think about ranging from the purely practical to the more ornate.

You can also decorate the inside of the coffin however you like too. There are a wide range of materials to choose from to furnish the inside.

Costs

There’s no getting around the fact that coffins can cost a lot of money, depending on the type of material and construction you go with it. On average, they hover around a thousand dollars or so. However, it’s easy to spend upwards of three times that amount. Of course, depending on your tastes, you could spend tens of thousands on a coffin.

Rentals

In order to save costs, many people opt to rent a coffin. These can be used solely for the sake of presentation at a wake and funeral. Afterwards, the deceased can be removed and transferred to a burial container, which costs much less. While you’ll have less options and still have to pay, this is a far more affordable option.

Cremation Caskets

Bodies which are cremated are always put into a coffin first. These are combustible coffins that will give way when submitted to the intense heat of the crematorium. Some people, though, still rent a coffin for the sake of visitation and presentation. Other will still purchase a model.

While it’s never easy to think about a coffin, whether for you or a love done, it’s better to do so as early as possible so you get the kind that’s most appropriate.


An Introduction to Cremation

Kremation

Whether you’re thinking about a loved one who has past or considering the service you will choose after your own death, many people are not familiar enough with cremation to feel comfortable choosing it. However, cremation still remains a very popular option for a number of reasons. The following should service as an introduction to help you familiarize yourself with what cremation entails.

What Is Cremation?

KremationCremation is a centuries-old method for dealing with the passing of a loved one that involves burning their remains into fine ashes.

As with a burial, the deceased is put into a casket. However, instead of burying it in the ground, the casket is inserted into a cremation chamber. There, temperatures of the fire will get up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit or 1,400 degrees Celsius. The entire cremation process usually takes about two or two and a half hours, at which point all the organic matter inserted in the chamber is either evaporated or consumed by the heat.

What are left is bone fragments. It’s this material that is commonly said to be the cremated remains. These are then carefully removed from the chamber. As the deceased enters the chamber fully clothed, the remains are sifted through to remove any metal through the use of a magnet. Any metal is then disposed of in the proper, approved manner.

Some family members wish to watch the actual cremation. Some crematoriums are happy to accommodate such a wish, but you must speak with the providers before selecting a location to ensure this option is available.

What Happens to the Cremated Remains?

CMYKThe cremated remains—or ashes—are first moved to a temporary container. Each crematory has their own they use. This container is then inserted into an urn. The type of urn that is used is decided upon by the family of the deceased. Nowadays, there are countless versions to choose from, so you’ll be able to find an urn that you feel best befits yourself or the loved one who has passed (you may want to decide on an urn now if you’re thinking about cremation for yourself).

You should speak with your cremation provider regarding the urn, though, prior to the process. The size of an urn is extremely important, for obvious reasons, but they’ll know which one makes the most sense and, again, you’ll still have a number of options to choose from.

To ensure that the cremated remains you receive are a fine powder, the results of the process are then put through a process. By doing so, you get a powdery texture to the ashes.

From start to finish, when the ashes are put into the urn, the entire process only takes about three hours.

You don’t have to worry about the remains of the deceased as they are carefully labelled the entire time. So you can rest assured the urn you receive will have your loved one’s cremated remains inside.

Also, the law mandates that cremations only occur individually. So, again, there is no reason to worry about receiving the ashes of another individual. However, sometimes family members pass away at the same time or within days of one another. In such a case, the next of kin may be able to have both cremated together. If this is your wish in such an event, be sure to make this known, in writing, to family members and loved ones.

When Can Cremation Occur?

Cremation is generally an immediate option for handling the body of the deceased. However, unlike a burial, it is a completely irrevocable process, meaning there are sometimes delays before the officials will sign off on cremation occurring. If the individual died under mysterious circumstances, for example, or other extenuating details are involved, the process may be stalled. That being said, if it was the expressed desire of the deceased to be cremated, it’s generally only a matter of time before their decision is honoured.

What Preparations Need to Be Done?

In many ways, the preparation that accompanies a cremation is no different than those that go along with a burial. You can have a wake, for example, and ensure that your loved one is dressed the way they would like, including hair and make-up.

Prior to cremation, though, medical devices, like pacemakers, hearing aids, etc. must be removed. When submitted to the high temperatures of the fire, they could possibly explode, which would put the staff at risk.

As we mentioned, any metal objects will be destroyed during cremation. Some families prefer to cremate their loved ones in the jewelry and other elements they wore during their life, but this is a matter of preference. Obviously, anything you’d like to keep must be removed before the process can begin.

Refrigeration

Though cremation is associated with heat, there is also a refrigeration element to the process. Because there is a waiting process mandatory before the body can be cremated, it must be refrigerated. By doing so, decomposition can’t set in, which could potentially pose a health hazard to the staff of the crematorium, the general public, and the family and friends of the deceased.

Embalming

On the other hand, embalming is not necessary for cremation to occur, despite what you may have heard. Some family members decide on it for their loved ones, while other times, it was a decision the deceased made prior to death (again, note this as soon as possible if you wish to be embalmed after you pass).

If a wake is to occur, or some other form of public viewing, embalming is necessary to preserve the body. The same is true if the body is to be transported by plane or train prior to the cremation. This is also true if there is going to be a prolonged delay between death and the cremating process beginning.

The Casket

CasketsAlthough many family members may choose a casket for the deceased, they are by no means necessary. However, some crematoriums actually don’t allow them for sanitary and other reasons. In that case, they will use a leak proof, combustible, rigid container that has a cover to it. The family can decide from a number of different versions though. Nowadays, these containers can be made from anything from cardboard to mahogany or even hand-crafted oak.

You can also rent a casket, if you like, for viewing purposes. Doing so will save your family money, while preserving the dignity of the deceased during a wake. When it comes time for cremation, then, one of the options above can be used instead.

The Service

Cremation is not necessarily a substitute for an actual funeral service. So you can still have a traditional funeral if you like. Whether or not you want to have the cremation before or after the funeral service is completely up to you. Of course, a funeral is by no means necessary either.

Scarring the Remains

Scarring the RemainsWhile many people want ashes in an urn, it’s also traditional to scatter the remains over a location that meant something to the deceased. So long as you have permission to do so, this should not be a problem.

Hopefully, this has helped better inform you about the cremation process. If you have any questions, contact a local crematory today.


Paying for Your Funeral Expenses in Australia

Paar bei Beerdigung mit Sarg

Losing a loved one is devastating, but many times the loved ones that are left behind must also deal with the stress of planning your funeral as well. Australian funerals costs can be between $4,000 and $15,000 depending on the options chosen, which can leave the ones you love with a serious financial burden to deal with on top of everything else. If you want to save your family from dealing with these stresses, there are several options available to help you pre-pay your funeral expenses.

How Much Will Your Funeral Cost?

Paar bei Beerdigung mit SargThe cost of funeral expenses includes many different charges, with the lowest costs associated with cremation. However, if you are planning a traditional funeral, there is much more that will need to be paid for, including:

  • Casket
  • Funeral director costs
  • Burial
  • Death certificate
  • Burial plot
  • Transportation
  • Flowers
  • Obituary
  • Wake

coffin bearer carrying casket at funeralYour own funeral may not require all of these costs, but most traditional ones do. If you want to help alleviate some of the burden from your family, there are options available that can help cover these expenses.

Savings Plans

The simplest option for covering funeral expenses is to open a savings or term deposit account. You can allot a certain amount of funds to the account out of each pay-check until you reach an amount that will cover your desired funeral arrangements. While this method of planning for funeral costs is easy to set up, and maintain, there are some things that you will need to keep in mind.

You should keep this savings account separate from your other accounts and finances so that you are not tempted to dip into the account to cover other expenses. A savings account does not have the same strict requirements of other options, so you will need to exercise self-control. You will also want to make sure to tell your family about the savings account, as well as how to access it so it is available when they need it.

Funeral Insurance

Another funeral planning option is funeral insurance. This type of insurance is similar to other types of insurance in that you pay monthly or semi-monthly premiums towards the policy. You can choose the amount of cover that you are interested in, and the balance will be paid at the time of your death to a beneficiary of your choosing. It is important to understand that you may be paying these premiums for many years, so you should opt for a policy that has payments you will be able to afford long term.

When choosing funeral insurance, you will also need to plan for the cost of the premiums to increase as you age. If there comes a time when you are no longer able to pay the premiums as required, you will lose all of the funds that you have already paid towards the policy when it is cancelled.

You will also need to pay attention to the actual amount that you will be paying into the policy to ensure that you are not paying more for it than you would for the actual funeral. This is especially true if you are young and healthy. If this is the case, you may want to consider a savings plan or other options to help save money over time.

Funeral Bonds

Funeral bonds investment options that help you save the money needed to cover your funeral costs. These bonds are available through funeral directors, life insurance companies, and friendly societies. The funds saved through funeral bonds are only accessible after your death, and they can only be used to pay for your funeral expenses.

When you sign up for a funeral bond, you have the option of choosing your own funeral director, and paying for the bond in instalments. Again, it is important for you to read all of the paperwork prior to signing up to make sure you understand all the costs associated with the bond.

Pre-paid Funerals

One of the most popular options for funeral planning are pre-paid funerals. This option allows you to pay for your funeral in advance, and also gives you the option of choosing your own details. If in-depth planning of your funeral is something you are not comfortable with, you can choose certain options, but leave the details to your loved ones.

If you choose the pre-paid funeral option, you need to make sure that you are given a complete breakdown of all the costs prior to agreeing to pay. Most funeral directors allow you to either pay for the funeral in full, or make a down payment, and make payments on the rest of the costs.

If you make the decision to go with the pre-paid funeral option, you should make sure to find out if the pre-paid plan is transferable just in case you need to move later on. It is also a good idea to go over the terms and conditions to determine whether you can get any of the payments back if you change your mind.

Pre-paid plans require a 30 day cooling off period, which allows you to cancel the plan within 30 days if you change your mind. However, you may be required to pay a penalty if you do so. You will also need to make sure that your plan is registered with the proper Fair Trading authority so that you are in compliance with local laws. Read more about funeral bonds and pre-paid funerals.

While it may be difficult to consider your own death, it is truly something that cannot be avoided. There are many different options available that will help you cover the costs of your funeral so that you can protect your family from hardships in the future. No matter which option you choose, make sure to read any information provided to make sure that you understand the terms and complete costs. This will help you protect your own investments, and you family’s when you pass.


Funeral Flowers Etiquette: Doing The Right Thing

pink floral funeral tribute on easel

Funerals are always trying times, no matter what your relationship is to the deceased and their family. Knowing what to say can be awkward and uncomfortable. Sending the appropriate expression in a floral tribute can be confusing as well, but there are some guidelines to help you know how to choose accordingly.

Funeral Flowers

pall bearersFlower arrangements sent to the funeral home are referred to as “funeral flowers.” This is a long standing tradition in many cultures and is a way to not only pay tribute to the deceased, but also as a way to add a more uplifting mood to the sombre circumstances and serve as a celebration of their life.

There are many choices available when it comes to funeral flower arrangements. You can choose to send something that will be later moved to the gravesite and left there, or you can select something that you would like for the family members to take home with them after the service. Funeral flower arrangements are typically large and more formal in nature.

Free standing arrangements that are displayed on easels are always good selections since they can easily be moved if needed to make more space. These arrangements often include sprays, wreaths, and flowers in the shapes of hearts and crosses. You can also choose basket arrangements that are made up of fresh flowers, house-plants or a combination of the two. These are most often taken home by family members after the service.

If you do not have a close relationship with the deceased and their family, make sure you are aware of any religious affiliations and choose your funeral flowers accordingly. You may have not even been acquainted with the deceased, only a member of their family so it’s important to get certain details before you choose flowers. For instance, those of the Eastern Orthodox faith place a high value on white flowers for funerals. Jewish and Islamic faiths do not typically have flowers sent to their funerals, nor do Hindus, although for them it is not an affront. Your florist should be able to guide you as to how to handle various religious customs.

Do not choose casket sprays, as these are usually chosen by the closest family members. If you were particularly close with the deceased you may, however, choose to have your arrangement reflect the nature of your relationship. For example, you may choose types of flowers or colours you know they were particularly fond of.

Sympathy Flowers

sympathy flower arrangement in potThe difference between funeral flowers and sympathy flowers is that the latter is sent directly to the family member’s home. They are typically smaller arrangements than what you would send to the funeral home and are more suitable for displaying in the home. Often baskets containing green plants are chosen so family members can have a lasting remembrance of their loved one.

You may even choose to send sympathy flowers days after the actual funeral service. This can be a nice way to remind the family that you’re thinking of them after the initial attention has lessened. Since you might not have been acquainted with the deceased, only someone in their family, this can be an appropriate way to send your condolences. If you are a co-worker of someone who has lost a loved one, it is acceptable to send flowers to the office.

Choosing Appropriate Colours

pink floral funeral tribute on easelIn general, it is acceptable to send any colours of flowers for most funerals. Some prefer to keep things upbeat by sending bouquets or arrangements of brightly coloured flowers or colours that they know the deceased was fond of. Others choose more subdued colours, like all white flowers, as a way to express their respect. Blue flowers, representing calm and comfort, also make a good colour choice and a combination of both blue and white makes an attractive and appropriate arrangement.

Honouring Requests

It is common practice by many to request that donations be made to a charity instead of sending flowers. Is it still appropriate to send flowers in that instance? It is still perfectly acceptable to send flowers to either the funeral home or to the family member’s home in that case. You may, however, also choose to make the donation as well. Because sending flowers is such a long standing tradition, it is often difficult for people to not send them as a token of their sympathy.

Knowing What To Say

sympathy messagesChoosing the right words is always difficult when faced with the death of a loved one or an acquaintance. You want to be sure you address the decease d’s family with respect and sincerity, no matter what your relationship was. When you order your flowers from a florist over the phone or on-line, they have standard cards that are included with the delivery. They typically will say “with deepest sympathy” and they will sign your name. Should you choose to offer a lengthier expression of your sympathy, you can also purchase a sympathy card and send it to their home.

If you’re sending floral tributes from a group you can either instruct your florist to list all the names or just the group, for instance a company name. Just make sure you give the correct spellings for everyone’s name and that you don’t leave anyone off the list.

Relying On Your Funeral Florist

types of funeral flower arrangementsIf you’re ordering from out of town, your florist should be able to get the proper information such as location and time of service to make sure your delivery arrives ahead of the funeral service. They may even handling orders from others for the same service and can make sure that your order is not a duplicate design.

Florists are generally well versed in local customs and specific customs related to different religions and their funeral services. They should be able to guide you accordingly if you give them the basic details and help you select flower arrangements that will be appropriate. Your florist should be able to handle your request with the dignity and respect it deserves and make sure every effort is made to honour your wishes.


Understanding Grief, and Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

coping with grief

If you have lost a loved one, or even know someone who has, you have probably heard about the much-touted “5 Stages of Grief.” If you are one of the many who simply have not (or did not) go through these stages, you are not alone. The truth is the theories behind these specific stages are just that – theories. Their validity was never truly tested, and the actual basis for the stages was in relation to terminally ill cancer patients, not those who had actually lost a loved one. While there may be some similarities from person to person when experiencing grief, there is no set way that all people grieve.

It is Personal

coping with griefGrief counsellors are all in agreement that grief is a personal experience. The belief that a person who has just lost a loved one must be outwardly upset, and depressed for an extended period is just not true. Some people may show their grief in these ways, but others may go for an extended period without ever really feeling anything. The manner in which you experience grief is personal to you, and your temperament and personality are the key players in determining how you handle your loss.

Grief Personality Types

There are several different types of grief personality types, and each manner of experiencing grief is completely normal to that person. It often seems as if the amount of grief should be dependent on your relationship with the deceased. However, some people experience the same types of emotions for each loved one that passes on. Again, this is a normal aspect of grief personality types, and is responsible for the wide ranges of reactions that can occur within a family when a loved one dies. Understanding the various grief personalities, as well as the fact that all people grieve differently, will help you deal with these reactions to death, and help you avoid the hurt feelings and misunderstood expectations among those that are dealing with the loss.

Nomadic or Intuitive Grief

Some people experience the emotions of grief with nearly every fiber of their being. This personality type often feels the entire range of emotions, including depression, anger, anxiety, denial, loneliness, shock, and confusion. These people often jump back and forth through these emotions, and often have a very difficult time dealing with the pain they experience as a result of their loss. People with this grief personality typically need the help of others to help them get through their loss, as they often find it difficult to carry on with their normal everyday activities. Grief counsellors, support groups, and church or family members are often beneficial in helping them learn how to deal with their grief.

Instrumental Grief

This type of mourner often choose to intellectualize their grief by seeking out information, and looking for ways that can help solve problems and issues that are going on around them. These people are generally strong in the face of emotions of any type, and may seem as if they are detached or dispassionate when compared with the reactions of those around them. This personality often jumps into physical tasks and projects, or even a particular sport in order to deal with their grief. Instrumental grief often leads to a person appearing cold, or lacking emotions to others. However, they still go through their own grieving process. The difference is, this type of personality internalizes their emotions rather than allowing others to see their reactions to their grief.

Me-moralist Grief

There are also that choose to preserve their loved one’s memory in as many ways as possible. They may create shrines, or write poetry and music as a way of immortalizing their loved one. These people often create scholarships or foundations that will ensure that their loved one is never forgotten.

Dissonant or Internalizer Grief

This personality may feel extreme emotions due to their loss, but strive to portray themselves to others as being untouched by their grief. This creates a dissonance between what the person is feeling, and how they choose to show those emotions to others, leading to general feelings of conflict within themselves. This personality is often much more likely to feel as if they are not feeling the “right” emotions, which often leads to feelings of intense guilt as they try to understand why they cannot show the same emotions as those around them.

Seeker Grief

Seekers are those who search for religious or spiritual comfort in dealing with their grief. These people may renew or discover their interest in attending church, or may begin to seek out other spiritual methods to help them find meaning in their own lives. This personality often chooses to seek their comfort in these avenues, while seeming to ignore the grief of those around them.

Normalizer Grief

Normalizers use their grief in a positive way by trying to renew their relationships with family and friends. This personality often uses their loss as a reason to reconnect with those who have grown distant, or with those whom they have broken off all ties. People with this type of personality may also choose to get involved with their community or church. All of these reactions are basically a way of helping them deal with their loss and the resultant loneliness.

Activist Grief

For some, grief acts as a catalyst to push them towards making a difference for others. This personality type seems to find more meaning in their life after losing a loved one, which pushes them to create awareness organizations or groups that allow them to help others who have lost someone they love. Activist mourners are responsible for the development of a wide range of organizations that raise awareness for different illnesses, research, or drunk driving.

Other Considerations

It is also important to understand that men, women, and children all experience grief in different ways. Society has created many “rules” that pertain to how the different sexes should act, and these social pressures also affect how a person chooses to show their grief. Men, for example, are often told that they have to be the strong ones – tears are a sign of weakness, so some men may only allow their grief out when they are alone in order to maintain their appearance of strength.

Women in society are taught the opposite. It is expected that they cry and show their emotions; however, this is also not how all women deal with their grief. For those who choose not to show their emotions, they are often vilified, or viewed as being cold and heartless. None of these things are true, but societal pressures often make grief more difficult to deal with.

Children are the least equipped to deal with loss, especially of a loved one. Their reactions depend on their emotional development, as well as their cognition of what is truly going on around them. Younger children may fluctuate between sadness, anger, loss, or confusion, and their emotions may seem extreme. There is nothing wrong with these reactions, and care needs to be taken to be there for the child, regardless of whether they are showing their emotions or not. Death is a confusing time for children, and they need their caretakers more than ever during their grieving process.

Intensity

Throughout the grieving process, most people experience varying intensities in their emotions. There are no set time frames or steps in this intensity, and people may experience them in different ways and time frames. The initial shock of loss often leads to feelings of denial or disbelief, even for those losing someone to a terminal illness or other “expected” death. Still others may feel a sense of numbness or lack of emotion.

After the initial shock of losing a loved one, some people may experience an intense period of depression, or feel as if the true meaning of the loss finally “hits” them. These emotions may lead to reflection on their relationship with the deceased, and how their loss will truly affect their lives.

Grieving Myths

There are many myths surrounding grief, and it is important for you to understand that these beliefs are simply not true. They may be the normal response for some people, while others never experience them. Again, this is all a part of the personal experiences of grief.

“There is no laughter or joy in grief”

This myth about grief just may be the most untrue of all. If you have ever been to a funeral service, you already know that there may be plenty of laughter and smiling from those in attendance. Funerals are a celebration of life, which means that many people are sharing their favourite memories and experiences about their loved one. This sharing and recollection often leads to laughter and even joy, which often spreads to others around them. Laughter is contagious, and it truly makes people feel better, especially when they are dealing with their grief.

“Grief destroys us”

This is another myth that may be difficult to understand in the period right after someone dies. When you are initially dealing with your loss, it is very common to feel as if you will never get over your loved one’s death. However, most people find that they are much more resilient than they initially thought. While the feelings of pain associated with the loss are quite intense, and may continue for a long time, most people are still able to carry on with their lives after only a few months. Depression, anxiety, and anger are all parts of intense grief, and these feelings do subside over time. It is important to remember that even though these intense emotions ease, you will always carry your memories and thoughts of the loved one with you forever.

Coping with Loss

There is no right or wrong way of coping with the loss of a loved one. As long as you are not bringing harm to yourself or others, whatever helps you cope with the loss is ok. People react to grief in different ways, and the coping process is no different. It is perfectly normal to try to find the positives of the death, rather than focusing solely on the negatives.

It is a given that those who are dealing with death are saddened, but if sitting around by yourself in tears is not helping you cope, there is no reason for you to do it. Many people turn to comedy or other outlets as coping mechanisms, while others find it cathartic to start writing or journalling about their feelings. Some people feel that talking about their feelings, or about their loved one, helps to deal with the emotions. There are even those who turn to exercise, meditation, and even video games to help them with the coping process. The important thing is, if it makes you feel better, it is perfectly acceptable.

A Word on Counselling

Many people wonder if they should seek counselling when they are dealing with grief. While there are some people who do benefit from it, numerous studies have shown that those dealing with normal grief often find that it makes the emotional impact worse. Counselling is best reserved for those who are truly unable to deal with their emotions and loss, the effects of which are causing serious problems in their daily lives. However, searching out support from family, friends, or support groups has been proven to be beneficial for all of those who are dealing with grief.

When it comes to dealing with grief, and coping with the loss of a loved one, the key is to understand that everyone is affected in different ways. Instead of trying to focus on whether you or those around you are expressing your grief in appropriate ways, understand that everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Just as your relationship with your loved one was unique, your grief is as well.