Required Grieving? How To Handle A Funeral When You Aren't Sad About A Loss

Not everyone grieves in the same way. In fact, some people don't feel like grieving at all when they lose a family member who they may resent from a complicated or even cruel history. If you find yourself grasping for healthy ways to deal with a family member who isn't exactly a "loved one" to you, you may be really confused about how to handle the matter of the funeral. Here are ways you tactfully handle it while respecting your authenticity and desire to be truthful about your feelings.

Support Those Who Are Grieving

Although you may not be bereft along with your family members, you can be there for them during this difficult time. Since the loss is not hitting you as hard as it may hit others, you can offer to do things like set out the sign-in book, greet mourners, or even help organize things with the funeral coordinator. While you should leave the choices for music and personal eulogies up to those who loved the person, you can provide a huge emotional support by performing simple tasks that take the burden off those who may be consumed with their grief.

Try to Explore Your Feelings Before the Funeral

Feelings are not facts. As such, they may vary greatly from one day to the next. You aren't a "bad" person if you do not grieve a loss, but talking to a therapist can help you feel better about your personal reactions and get better in touch with your truest emotions. A therapist can also help you prepare for the day of the funeral.

Keep Conversations Simple

When people are grieving, it's only natural that they won't to latch on to others who are experiencing grief. If you are identified as a close relative, people may huddle around you and tell you all about their own grief. Try not to engage in detailed conversations about the person who died. If someone insists on talking about the deceased, you may simply state something that suggests you are still figuring out your feelings and don't want to talk about it.

Finally, although you may not be able to access any grief over the loss of someone, it doesn't mean that the death won't hit you at another time. When it's someone who was supposed to be important in your life, such as a biological parent or sibling, you may find that the loss is reflected at many times throughout your life. Continue to explore your feelings, and you may find that things change over time. Don't pressure yourself to feel differently at the funeral. Let it be what it is.