Aftercare is a word we use to describe services following
the actual ceremony. One of the most difficult parts about
death is living without your loved one. While we won't
tell you it will be easy, we do offer support. Our belief
is that a funeral home should be more than a place to have
funerals. It should be the center of grief support and
education in a community. Also, it should provide
information to assist people with the transition loss
Coleman Funeral Home offers the following Aftercare events
Below are some helpful words regarding grief and mourning.
- An annual Service of Remembrance
(Held in November)
- 2 Followup Complimentary Memorail Tributes
- Lift Up Thine Eyes Memorial Tribute Book
- Assistance in locating professional support such as support groups, counselors and/or therapists
You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need
to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts
and feelings regarding the death and the person who has
died. It is an essential part of healing. You are
beginning a journey that is often frightening, painful,
overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. This article provides
practical suggestions to help you move toward healing in
your personal grief experience.
Your grief is unique. No one will grieve in exactly the
same way. Your experience will be influenced by a variety
of factors: the relationship you had with the person who
died; the circumstances surrounding the death; your
emotional support system; and your cultural and religious
As a result of these factors, you will grieve in your own
special way. Don’t try to compare your experience with
that of other people or to adopt assumptions about just
how long your grief should last. Consider taking a
“one-day-at-a-time” approach that allows you to grieve at
your own pace.
Express your grief openly. By sharing your grief outside
yourself, healing occurs. Ignoring your grief won’t make
it go away; talking about it often makes you feel better.
Allow yourself to speak from your heart, not just your
head. Doing so doesn't mean you are losing control, or
going “crazy.” It is a normal part of your grief journey.
Find caring friends and relatives who will listen without
judging. Seek out those persons who will walk with, not in
front of, or behind you in your journey through grief.
Avoid persons who are critical or who try to steal your
grief from you. They may tell you, “keep your chin up,” or
“carry on,” or “be happy.” While these comments may be
well-intended, you do not have to accept them. You have a
right to express your grief; no one has the right to take
Experiencing loss affects your head, heart, and spirit. So
you may experience a variety of emotions as part of your
grief work. Confusion, disorganization, fear, guilt,
relief, or explosive emotions are just a few of the
emotions you may feel. Sometimes these emotions will
follow each other within a short period of time. Or they
may occur simultaneously.
As strange as some of these emotions may seem they are
normal and healthy. Allow yourself to learn from these
feelings. And don't be surprised if out of nowhere you
suddenly experience surges of grief, even at the most
unexpected times. These grief attacks can be frightening
and leave you feeling overwhelmed. They are, however, a
natural response to the death of someone loved. Find
someone who understands your feelings and will allow you
to talk about them.
Feeling dazed or numb when someone dies is often part of
your early grief experience. This numbness serves a
valuable purpose: it gives your emotions time to catch up
with what your mind has told you. This feeling helps
create insulation from the reality of the death until you
are more able to tolerate what you don't want to believe.
Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you
fatigued. Your ability to think clearly and make decisions
may be impaired. And your low-energy level may naturally
slow you down. Respect what your body and mind are telling
you. Nurture yourself. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals.
Lighten your schedule as much as possible. Caring for
yourself doesn't mean feeling sorry for yourself it means
you are using survival skills.
Reaching out to others and accepting support is often
difficult, particularly when you hurt so much. But the
most compassionate self-action you can do at this
difficult time is to find a support system of caring
friends and relatives who will provide the understanding
you need. Find those people who encourage you to be
yourself and acknowledge your feelings -- both happy and sad.
The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of
someone loved. It helps provide you with the support of
caring people. Most importantly, the funeral is a way for
you to express your grief outside yourself. If you
eliminate this ritual, you often set yourself up to
repress your feelings, and you cheat everyone who cares of
a chance to pay tribute to someone who was, and always
will be, loved.
If faith is part of your life, express it in ways that
seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around
people who understand and support your religious beliefs.
If you are angry at God because of the death of someone
you loved, realize this feeling as a normal part of your
grief work. Find someone to talk with who won’t be
critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment.
You may find yourself asking, “Why did he die? Why this
say? Why now?” This search for meaning is often another
normal part of the healing process. Some questions have
answers. Some do not. Actually, the healing occurs in the
opportunity to pose the questions, not necessarily in
answering them. Find a supportive friend who will listen
responsively as you search for meaning.
Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after
someone loved dies. Treasure them. Share them with your
family and friends. Recognize that your memories may make
you laugh or cry. In either case, they are a lasting part
of the relationship that you had with a very special
person in your life.
The capacity to love requires the necessity to grieve when
someone loved dies. You cannot heal unless you openly
express your grief. Denying your grief will only make it
become more confusing and overwhelming. Embrace your grief
Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember,
grief is a process, not an event. be patient and tolerant
with yourself. Never forget that the death of someone
loved changes your life forever. It's not that you won't
be happy again. It’s simply that you will never be exactly
the same as you were before the death.
The experience of grief is powerful. So, too, is your
ability to help yourself heal. In doing the work of
grieving, you are moving toward a renewed sense of meaning
and purpose in your life.