I 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 ?
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,