I'm back from internet silence from Tuesday & Wednesday. I want to chat a little about funerals - they aren't quite a taboo subject, but people don't necessarily discuss them. Tuesday was the day of my family funeral. Funerals are highly individual events. Here are a few tips I have when you need to go to one.
1) Check what the dress code is - sometimes people want black, sometimes they don't. No one will mind if you ask, it shows you're being respectful.
|Sometimes a black outfit with a colourful accessory can be a good outfit at a funeral|
2) Let the tears fall. Yes, it can suck crying in public. It's better if you can keep them quietish, but don't hold them back. Crying is a release in itself.
|Better out than in.|
Make sure you take tissues/handkerchiefs. Ideally be with someone who can support and share your grief so you aren't on your own.
|Alica comforting Akari not on a death, but on Alicia retiring from being a gondola driver (undine) on the anime Aria the Natural|
3) Make sure you find out whether you can send flowers, or if a donation to a charity is the preferred way of saying your farewell.
|Flowers? No flowers?|
4) If you find it getting too much at any point, do leave if you need to. I was the first person to head back because I needed some me time to calm down. Sometimes just a few minutes to collect your thoughts is all you need.
|"I need some space"|
5) Talk if you want, or stay quiet if you want. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. If you don't feel like talking you can simply say so and listen to others.
|"Do you remember when...?" "..."|
6) Rest lots after. Emotions are as tiring, if not more so than physical activity. Be prepared to feel like an elephant's sat on you the day after, possibly for a few days. Be kind to yourself, do things you like in between work/necessary life tasks.
|Listening to music/audio books an be uplifting/distracting|
|Looking at the natural world can be soothing|
|Getting stuck in a book can be great fun|
|Being out and smelling flowers can be fun|
Funerals are never easy events, and can be quite stressful. However they are a necessary part of life, and something we will all have to deal with at some point. I hope my tips help a little, and please feel free to share your own.
|You're never alone|