How to Conquer Anxiety at a Funeral?

funeral candlesI received this via email today from a reader with funeral anxiety:

I’m having a terrible day. Some very dear friends have lost their son in the most tragic way and my heart aches for them. This afternoon there will be an “at rest/visitation” at the funeral home between 4 and 8 p.m.

Hundreds of people will be attending and because of my social anxiety disorder I know that this will be too difficult for me to attend and I don’t want to take medication in order to get through it. I have sent a heartfelt letter of deep sympathy and I plan to attend the funeral tomorrow which will also be stressful but more serene, to be with them as they say their final farewell.

As a result of my decision not to go to the ‘at rest’ a friend, who I suppose thinks that she is being constructive and helpful, has implied that by staying away and only going to the funeral I am not being supportive of my friends in their time of great sorrow.

My heart is already so heavy for my friends’ tragic loss and now this criticism is exacerbating my anxiety terribly.

Not a good day any thoughts ?
Veronica

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My feeling is not to give any thought to what this well meaning friend said. If you feel you can’t attend the function today, then by all means don’t go. Just send your thoughts and prayers.

If, on the other hand, you make a decision on your own accord that you want to attend, then prepare in advance. Perhaps you can deal with it for one hour. If you make that choice, the tips in this post will help you.

Most of all, be gentle with yourself. This is a terrible tragedy and you need to mourn and grieve, not feel scrutinized by others.

And now readers, please weigh in. Do you have any suggestions for our friend on how to conquer anxiety at a funeral?

I wish you peace,
Jill G.

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3 Responses to How to Conquer Anxiety at a Funeral?

  1. maz says:

    Hi jilly and Veronica

    I’ve been where you are. Jill is right don’t pay any attention to your well meaning friend. I couldn’t go to my uncle’s funeral and spent many hour beating myself up for this. Afterwards when it was all over I went to see my aunt and she said she didn’t even notice who was there and who wasn’t all that mattered was I was there when it was all over

    Please don’t beat yourself up. See how you feel on the day. If it’s good and you feel you can go if not don’t go. She will need your friendship long after that day is over so what I’m trying to say is be kind to yourself and know you can support her either way

    Good luck Veronica and nice one Jill

    Jill is right send her your prayers

  2. Zoe says:

    Hi. I’m here looking for some funeral advice :) We actually have two viewings & funerals to go to this weekend. Not looking forward to it at all. I’m going to go with the intention of only staying for 15 minutes. You can do anything for 15 minutes right? Then we’ll see how it goes. I’m taking one at a time, not worrying about all 4 events at once! Deep breaths and ativan. This is the plan. Wish me luck!

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