View Full Version : How do you show grief at a funeral?

02-02-08, 05:41 PM
I am asking this at the places I "visit"..I have come to a conclusion but wanted to hear your ideas first...:loveyou:

I have had funerals on my mind a lot ..
I have all the funerals I have been to swirling around in my head and all the different reactions to the death of different loved ones..
60 years worth..a lot..

I have cried..
lost my memory of the event..
cried quietly..
cried my heart out inconsoulably...
and everything in between...
There are two that really stick out in my head and heart..
One was a funeral where during the funeral I was not one iota grieved..but was happy that the suffering one was now in heaven and awake and alive like never before..
That evening during a conversation with some friends I burst into inconsolable tears and just did not know why..
We have deep emotions sometimes that we do not even know about I think..
But I was the talk because I was so "indifferent" and "cold"..
Sigh..that is how folks saw me..

another time is when I was so grieved for the ones who had lost their loved one that I could not stop crying for them..
the folks there were very disturbed with me that I was showing such lack of self control..
Man I just cannot get it right it seems..
I am emotional and I hate that about me and I cannot seem get my emotions to coincide with what they are supposed to be..
What are your thoughts on funerals?
How are we supposed to show our grief..
Is there a wrong way or a right way..??
As a Christian I rejoice that the one I love is with the Lord ...but that is for them..I grieve for me and those here!!

02-02-08, 06:44 PM
Very appropriate that this was posted today. A friend of Charles' died early this AM. My friend too but most special to Charles. My heart rejoices for him because he is with Jesus. My heart grieves for Charles and for his family and other friends. My heart feels a lot of anger for certain of this man's family members who I believe did not show respect and caring while he was alive.

What I was taught as a child is that to the extent possible one does what will most comfort the survivors. Granted that there seems to ba a whole chapter of Souther funeral behavior I do not yet fully understand after 30+ yrs including a few yrds of working at a cemetary but that is still what I believe to be appropriate. In our situation now what we do or do not do is often also guided by what Charles health allows which of course is also never really understood but fact is that our actions and responses are not where the focus ought to be. That needs to be on Jesus and on doing what can be done for the remaining family and close friends at least to my limited understanding.

02-02-08, 11:14 PM
Different ppl show grief different ways flowers, help to the family, prayers for those who are grieving. Some spend time with the family afterwards lifting them up, being a friend in the lonely time that follows. God knows what's in a person's heart. Generally the thing is to try not to become the focus of attention which belongs to be on the one who passed and the immediate family so if emotion overwhelms sometimes it's good to step outside. Whatever you do it is almost guaranteed that someone will not like it because they are human and it is an emotional time.

02-03-08, 04:35 AM
i don't see anything wrong in an honest emotional display which is the outward expression of what's happening in your heart. i don't think one should be embarrassed when it's one's heart that's speaking. to me that is absolutely the right way to be and act.

2Sa 6:12 And it was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of O'bed-e'dom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of O'bed-e'dom to the city of David with rejoicing;
2Sa 6:13 and when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.
2Sa 6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
2Sa 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the horn.
2Sa 6:16 As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
2Sa 6:17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place, inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
2Sa 6:18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts,
2Sa 6:19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people departed, each to his house.
2Sa 6:20 And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, "How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants' maids, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!"
2Sa 6:21 And David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father, and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD--and I will make merry before the LORD.
2Sa 6:22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor."
2Sa 6:23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

i think the same applies whether it's joy or sadness.

02-04-08, 11:59 AM
I had a thought about this that I think is very important for me to remember..
Perhaps the "rules" created in some families are a way the particular family deals with their grief and when you break the rules it is hard on them...
added grief kind of..
There are high emotions and it is easy to offend or even be offended..
We just have to be sensitive to others , in the middle of our own struggle with emotions ..
But it is hard work to control emotions in this situation ..

I had an experience a few years ago where the one I loved the most hurt me the most out of her pain and suffering and grief..
But I was wise enough to know that was what happened..
The pain was still there and I cried a lot over it but forgiveness was instant..

I am looking to find wisdom in other situations..
And I think I have found it this morning with the "family rule" being broken ...
Give them the same slack I want for myself....
Understand their way of grieving and forgive any emotional reaction ... :angel:

02-04-08, 06:57 PM
It is a northern custom at least in the area where I grew up that nothing should be expected of the family at that time and that in effect it is expected that they will be a bit "un-sane". Someone else, more distant family or a a friend answers the door, takes phone calles etc. and shields the family unless they specifically express a wish to see specific persons. Many funeral homes have specific "family parlors" where the family may be alone together and others come only by invitation. The first traditionally southern funeral we went to where we were close to the family I was truly horrified that the widow was expected to be on duty for 2 almost 3 days straight, being gracious while ppl said the most ridiculous things after weeks of exhausting hospital time. I can rember a close friend who came home to lie down after her mother's funeral only to have someone who hadn't spoken to her in at least a yr come to the house and barge into her bedroom to berate her for not paying them more attention at the funeral. If having a lot of ppl around is a comfort as it was for Pastor Eugene's mom when her husband died last fall then by all means ppl should be there but when the family wants and needs to be alone they should be allowed the space to do it. I think every family has their own ways. Probably every person does.