Grief and Personal Rituals

By: admin
Monday, March 11, 2019

After Mount Vernon, WA cremations, the initial awareness of the deep grief from the loss of a loved one set in. Joan Didion expressed it well in her book about the year after her husband's sudden death from a heart attack, The Year of Magical Thinking. She wrote, "Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We might expect if death is sudden to feel shocked. We do not expect the shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind." 

In spite of this all-consuming shock to our minds and bodies that we call grief, some people move on, while others sink into a prolonged period of depression that they can't get past (complicated grief). 

Eventually most people adjust. They settle into back into old routines or they develop new routines. Life regains some sense of order. Although they continue to miss their loved one and they still deal with the sadness of their loss, their emotions are not holding them hostage. 

This ability to bounce back – emotional resilience – in spite of the deep heartbreak of loss is, in large part, due to their personal rituals. But these are not the rituals we usually associate with death and loss. 

For the most part, when people think of mourning rituals, they imagine public displays of grief. These include things that are familiar: "sitting shiva" in Judaism, funerals and memorials, and wearing black clothing for some amount of time.  

But for people with emotional resilience who are able to get back to living life more quickly after the death of a loved one, these rituals were nowhere to be found. Instead, these people developed unique and private personal rituals that they performed alone. 

It might be something as simple as playing a favorite song and crying. Or it could be continuing something you and your loved one always did together – such as going to get a haircut together on the 15th of each month – or continuing to do something your loved one would have done if they were alive, such as washing a car weekly or going to the mailbox or post office at a certain time every day. 

These are sad rituals because they are constant reminders of loss. However, instead of plunging people into debilitating depressions, these private, personal rituals give them a deep and abiding connection to the memories of their loved ones. In other words, it keeps their loved ones close in private, so they can move on with their public lives. Their loved ones are not forgotten. 

Although public grieving rituals have their purpose, there is an expectation that they will be short-lived. In reality, life and people around us move back to where they were before our loss of a loved one. In a sense, the time for public grieving is over, even though our private grieving is not. 

Therefore, the healthiest to bridge the gap between the expectation and the reality is find personal rituals that connect us in a very meaningful way to our love ones and perform those rituals in private and alone, while we get back to the public selves that people expect us to be. It may seem hypocritical, but it's not. Grief, as it ages, becomes very private. You'll never stop grieving the loss of a loved one, in a sense. But with personal rituals, you can successfully cope with and adjust to your new reality. 

For additional information about grief resources at Mount Vernon, WA cremations, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Cremations – Bayview Chapel is here to help. You can come to our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can call us today at (360) 733-0510.  

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Cremation Remains are Not Just for Scattering

One of the cremation services offered in Ferndale, WA is helping family members decide what to do with the cremation remains – cremains – of their loved one. While scattering some of them in a plac...

Funeral Questions and Answers

People often have questions about funerals at funeral homes in Ferndale, WA if they have never been to a funeral or a visitation. This guide should help everyone who is planning a funeral for the f...

What Would You Write in Your Obituary?

With cremations in Bellingham, WA, one of the things that will need to be done is to have an obituary written, either to be posted only on the funeral home’s website or to be posted and published i...

Helping a Loved One Through Grief

After funerals at funeral homes in Bellingham, WA, you want to be there to help someone you love and care about through the grieving process, offering support, comfort, and encouragement. There are...

Ways in Which Grief Counseling Helps | Cremations

Considering grief counseling after cremations in Burlington, WA may be one of the healthiest steps you can take after you’ve lost someone you love. Many funeral homes offer grief support groups as ...

What Do Funeral Directors Do?

Knowing what funeral directors do at funeral homes in Mount Vernon, WA can help you have complete confidence in their ability to take care of your needs when you lose a loved one.  One thing ...

A Guide to Funeral Services Terminology

Lynden, WA funeral services include a lexicon of words and terms that most of us don’t use in our daily lives and that we may not know the meaning of. Understanding them will make it easier for us ...

The Best Way to Give Condolences

During funerals at funeral homes in Mount Vernon, WA, one of the things that mourners do, in addition to paying their respects to the deceased, is to offer words of encouragement and support to the...

Making Funerals Honest

At funerals in Burlington, WA funeral homes, it's not uncommon to, in the days of tumultuous grief following the death of a loved one, suddenly see them in unrealistic terms. We tend to wrap our lo...

Is There Closure after Death?

After cremation services in Mount Vernon, WA and family and friends return to their homes, jobs or schools, and lives, the deep part of grieving begins. Although there is much talk about closure af...