Can anyone offer me some tips on not crying, please?

(15 Posts)
SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 03-Jan-13 23:47:05

This is not about bottling up grief: my friend has died and (because I am trained as an officiant, though I do weddings rather than funerals) I have been asked to conduct her funeral ceremony. I don't want to be in tears during the ceremony because it would be unfair and inappropriate: has anyone got any good tips? Even down to a reasonable over-the-counter sedative that won't zombify me? I did have a thread about something similar once before (when I was setting up the pet funeral business) but I think it was in Chat as I can't fine it.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Thu 03-Jan-13 23:59:10

I'm sorry to hear about your friend sad

I have no hints or tips I'm afraid, but I hope someone can help you out.

I spoke at a funeral a while ago, no one thought I'd be able to do it without it being a complete sob fest - but somehow, I actually managed to hold it together and do it <I think he was there willing me on wink> (but since then it's like the tears are right at the very front on my eyes and all you have to do is look at me sideways and they pour out.)

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 04-Jan-13 00:22:02

Chipping, I'm sorry for your loss too. I'm sad about my friend but not devastated IYSWIM, she was a good mate and a lovely person but at the same time we've all had a few months to get ready for it to happen (she had cancer).

runningforthebusinheels Fri 04-Jan-13 00:33:26

I'm sorry for your loss.

This may sound silly, or frivolous even, but I'm just going to type it anyway.

I've heard that clenching your fist and digging your fingernail (it helps if they are long) hard into your palm, gives just a little bit of sharp physical pain which can be enough distract yourself from the tears that want to flow.

My sister gave a speech at a relative's funeral recently sad and she did break down. No one minded. She apologised profusely... but no one minded.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 04-Jan-13 01:05:14

Thanks Running. I have also heard that kind of 'bearing down' can help, though I must admit that the idea makes me anxious that I might poo at the lectern (which my friend would have found hysterically funny but at the same time...)

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 04-Jan-13 01:10:35

Yes - not really a look is it - pooing your pants. I think the 'nail' thing is safer!

<Thanks. I was/am devastated. It was someone very close and absolutely no prior warning. A huge shock>

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 04-Jan-13 01:15:35

Chipping: that's a bugger when it happens. My dad died 18 months ago very suddenly and unexpectedly (well, he was 78 so not completely unexpected, but at the same time he was in good health and had driven me home from visiting my parents the week before). I found it comforting to consider that he had died with no pain or fear - he had a massive heart attack in his sleep and apparently looked as though he simply hadn't woken up - and that I couldn't have wished a kinder death on anyone. But it was still an awful, awful shock.

chickensarmpit Fri 04-Jan-13 01:16:10

I am so sorry for your loss. I have no advice but i want to pay my respects xx

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 04-Jan-13 01:20:44

What a lovely way for your Dad to go - but awful for those left behind. There is comfort in knowing that they didn't suffer, but such sadness at not being able to tell then how much you love etc that you get when it's something like cancer (have lost people like that too). How is your Mum coping?

everlong Fri 04-Jan-13 11:29:26

Sorry to hear about your friend solid.

All I can say is try mot to over think not crying.

When my ds died I was petrified of having a meltdown at the church. God knows why.
But I didn't shed a tear. I held it together. I'm convinced that people can stop themselves breaking down.

BiscuitMillionaire Fri 04-Jan-13 11:32:45

I think if you're the officiant and you're nervous about it all going smoothly then the adrenaline will stop you crying (until afterwards).

Sorry for your loss - this one and your dad.

So sorry to hear of your loss, what a brave thing that you are doing

I read a poem at my granddads funeral a few years ago. I was devastated by his death, and just the thought of him/mention of his name had me sobbing. however, I did manage to get through the reading without crying or stuttering. Something turns off for a little while and lets you do what needs to be done

If you think you are unable to do that, have a chat with your dr - a low dose of sedative would be appropriate in these circumstances

everlong Fri 04-Jan-13 11:38:16

Yes biscuit I agree with the adrenaline stopping you crying. I only ever cry at funerals when I'm not that close to the person or don't know them that well, I think because I'm sad for their family.

chipmonkey Fri 04-Jan-13 12:18:11

So sorry about your friend, SGB.
Dh did a reading at dd's funeral and didn't break down. He said he was determined not to and practiced over and over again. While he was up there, he did look as if he were practicing breathing exercises, kind of like the ones people do when they normally stutter and are trying not to.
But honestly, it wouldn't be the end of the world if you did break down. People would understand.

VeronicaSpeedwell Tue 08-Jan-13 16:54:11

So sorry to hear about your friend. I did cry a lot when trying to read a poem at my grandfather's funeral, so I know how hard it is not to. However, my DH and I did both manage to read letters to our baby son at his funeral, which was a much more shocking and incomprehensible loss. I certainly did cry at points, I was (am) devastated, but I was also able to use the intensity of my love for him to give me the strength to get it all out. I wanted to do it because I wanted to talk about him loud and clear, to show I loved him, to have people hear about everything he meant, because it was one of the few things I could do for him. I know that something like that will work in a very specific way for any mother talking about her child, but I think it is possible to draw on the same well of emotion which will make you cry to give you a kind of ferocity, which you can use to help you speak. Perhaps try to think of it as a form of energy which you can choose to channel into your speaking for that short time. On a much more mundane note, I also know from public speaking training I've done that you can pause for much longer than most people think without anyone thinking it's odd -- it just sounds authoritative, which I guess is very appropriate in your role. Take deep breaths and compose yourself, then do it one line at a time.

Obviously this is all very tied up with my own experience. I felt good that I had done it, but that's no reflection on anyone who can't, and there can never be any general truths.

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