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Overcoming Your Fears of Attending a Funeral

Friday, March 15, 2019
Many people are nervous or even overwhelmed at the idea of attending a funeral , regardless of whether it was someone close to you or a distant relative.

Attending a funeral can feel stressful for several reasons. For some, it's the thought of strong and uncomfortable emotions, trying to hold back from losing your composure, or having to give a eulogy or speech. For others, itís the anxiety of seeing friends or family from long ago, or the discomfort from being around things associated with death, such as coffins, etc.

Regardless of the reason, there are ways to cope with these fears and still honor the departed person. Here are 3 coping strategies for dealing with funeral anxiety.

1. Open up about your fears and anxieties.
A good way to handle your nerves about your feelings and the event is to acknowledge your feelings about it. Discussing your thoughts and fears with someone who has been supportive of you in the past can help clarify your feelings, calm some of the anxiety and take away some of the stress.

Funeral staff are also very well versed in providing support, so they are another option for discussing your thoughts and feelings.

2. Give yourself permission to cry or show emotion.
A lot of people add pressure to the situation by trying to suppress or deny their feelings. Remember that grieving is a natural process, and itís ok to cry and express your feelings before, during and after the funeral. Sometimes strong emotions feel overwhelming, and thatís okay too.

If you find yourself overcome with emotion while giving a eulogy, people will understand if you need a moment to calm yourself and regain your composure. If you canít continue, a family member or celebrant will be on hand to help you.

3. Find a Support Partner
If you still feel anxious about attending the actual event, ask a close friend or partner to come with you. Having someone who may not be as involved as yourself at the event can have a soothing effect, and gives you someone you trust to discuss your feelings and thoughts with.

Sometimes itís just the knowledge that youíre not alone at the funeral and have someone to rely on that helps you through it.

Finally, remember to be kind to yourself in dealing with your emotions during this time. Dealing with intense feelings can be stressful, and its ok to give yourself some breathing room to deal with them.

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