Celebration of Life ceremonies focus on celebrating the life of your loved one. However, bereavement often lasts long after the ceremony. It’s important to remember that you are human and you’re allowed to be sad. Although you just had a joyful occasion celebrating the life and love of the deceased, it’s okay to take your time in the grieving process.
To help work through the feeling of pain and grief, look to these bereavement tips:
- Remember the Good
This is where a Celebration of Life ceremony can be beneficial for everybody. Having a funeral that is traditionally geared towards tears, brimstone and fire, sadness, and all black focuses on the loss rather than the life of your loved one.Remembering the good times, celebrating memories, and coming together in one location to honor your loved one’s life is extremely therapeutic. A Celebration of Life brings everyone together for an uplifting day of fond memories, favorite food and drink, toasts and speeches, laughter, and even a few tears. Create a forum where you can remember how your loved one touched so many lives and loved so well.
- Be Kind to Yourself
While grieving, it may be hard to remember to take care of yourself. Try and get as much rest as you possibly can and eat healthy food that will make you feel good (avoid coping with binge food). Get outside and take walks, no matter how long or short. Take hot baths, pray and meditate. Remember that your loved one is always with you in your heart and they would want you to be healthy and relaxed in this time of emotional pain.
- Let Yourself Feel
It’s not healthy to push your feelings aside to go back to work right away or jump back into your normal routine. Remember that everyone grieves differently and there are many stages in the grief process.Taking the time to go through the bereavement process will help you heal and move on. You’re allowed to feel however you want to feel, but from my experience, avoiding feelings makes them stronger and you end up carrying them around for longer. You’ll never let go of your loved one’s memory, but once you’re able to feel your grief, you’ll be able to let it go.
- Allow Others to Support You
Even though we may want to isolate ourselves and be alone after a Celebration of Life ceremony, finding support from family and friends, therapy and grief groups, or free community groups, can be very helpful. Asking for help is powerful and admitting we need help is the first step.Sometimes accepting the help is hard, but we need to remember that surrounding ourselves with support can only help. Your loved one that passed would want you to be around others for emotional and physical support. Remember the feeling of purpose that comes from a Celebration of Life and take it with you while continuing living your life.
- Do Something Creative
There have been studies showing coloring elaborate pictures lowers stress and increases happiness for adults, proving to be a healthy and creative way to relax. Painting and journaling are other great options to get some creative juices flowing, which can help alleviate grief either by expressing it or taking your mind off it. Incorporating nature into your daily routine can also make you feel more connected to your emotions, and even get you closer to the person that has passed on.
- Find Joy in Life
One thing death does is reminds us that life is short. Take time while you’re grieving to remember that life is amazing and full of hope and beautiful things. You may feel strange trying to see the good in life while you are grieving, but your loved one would want you to appreciate what you still have, and continue to enjoy the family, friends, pets, love, happiness, and world around you.