Archive for August, 2013

Funerals of Children

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Question: I have been a Funeral Director for the last 11 years and it is still hard for me personally when we have funerals for children. Is there anything you can suggest that I can do to take care of myself personally during a funeral of a child?

Answer:  Losing a child is never easy even when the child is not your own. Children are the hope for the future and should have so much of their life ahead of them. When a child is lost so are the dreams and the hopes of the future. It seems unnatural to be taking care of the final arrangements of a child. Because of this, many funeral homes don’t display caskets, vaults or items related to child loss.  There is for many a sense of loss of innocence when a child dies. Expectations are cut short, and the deep, unexpected grief of the parents of the child is an additional factor that makes taking care of the child and the family difficult.

Here are some things you might do to take care of yourself while helping a family who has lost a child. (more…)

What are Signs & Symptoms of Grief?

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Question:  What is the typical time frame someone exhibits signs and symptoms of grief?

Answer:  People start exhibiting signs and symptoms of grief from immediately after the death to continuing up to seven years later. However, a person may not realize they are grieving or what are the signs of grief. Many times on Beyond Indigo message boards we have members ask “I am still crying shouldn’t I be over it since the funeral was a week ago”?

Therapists, doctors and other grieving professionals have been studying grieving for years. They keep discovering new aspects to grieving because it is such an individual unique process. However there are some things that are similar for all grieving individuals.

Each person normally goes through the following four phases. These phases do not occur in any particular order but tend to happen during different stages of the grief process. (more…)

Children & Pet Loss

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Question: Our family dog died last week and my son is beside himself. We held a small funeral for Scruffy and then had him cremated. Should I be worried about my son’s grief?

Answer: Pet loss, and the grief related to it, is just now coming into sharp focus. Researchers are beginning to contrast how the loss of a pet can affect a person with the loss of a relative or a friend. In 2006, the Journal of Death Studies (Volume 30: pages 61-76) did an article about children and the loss of a pet. Here is some information from the article which might be of help to you.

  1. Depression and anxiety might occur over the loss of a pet but it probably won’t be as intense as the loss of a family member. (more…)

Inside the Grief Space

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Question: When grieving people come to see me at the Funeral Home it is easy to tell they are in a different frame of mind then non-grievers. What exactly is going on emotionally while they are grieving? What are they aware of or not aware of? Maybe I should be presenting my information differently so they perceive what I am saying. I would appreciate your help.

Answer:  People who are grieving are definitely operating out of a different place then people who are not grieving. I call this the “Grief Space”. Within this space different thoughts and feelings are occurring to the grieving person than occur to those that are not grieving. If you could see this ‘space’ it would look like a bubble that surrounds the person. If you could look into this bubble you would find:

  1. Limited Awareness of physical events: Grieving people tend not to be too aware of their physical surroundings nor do they care as much about doing so. If the house stays dirty or they forget to eat it doesn’t cross their own internal radar. People can lose awareness of national events, local happenings and family news. It just blurs together. I have even heard of people breaking bones and not being aware of the pain from the break. (more…)