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How to stay calm at a funeral
38

Selford · 16/06/2022 13:06

I'm going to a funeral in a couple of weeks, the teenage daughter of a friend (I didn't really know her, but am going to support my friend).
Does anyone have any advice about how not to get overly emotional during the funeral? I've always found it hard to contain my emotions, especially when people around me are upset which understandably they will be, but I strongly feel that it's not my place to be crying when I didn't properly know her.
I've wondered if there is anything I can get over the counter from the pharmacist to help (I don't want to bother the GP as they're so busy at the moment, and I wouldn't get a routine appointment in time anyway).
Does anyone have any advice?

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BlanketsBanned · 16/06/2022 13:09

Its always difficult at funerals and to lose a teenager is terribly sad, you could try taking bach remedy rescue. You cannot always control your emotions but the focus is on her life and her family, not you.

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Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g · 16/06/2022 13:12

Lots of people will be upset. I don't think you need worry about this. I'm sorry for your friend's loss. [Flowers] Being there to support her is a good thing to do.

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squashyhat · 16/06/2022 13:18

Nobody expects you to control your emotions at a funeral. It's a funeral!

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HSKAT · 16/06/2022 13:19

You over thinking it.
Everyone is sad at funeral and cry.
As long as you aren't crying out loud you'll be fine.

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Lacedwithgrace · 16/06/2022 13:22

You shouldn't alter your expression of feelings. Whether you knew the poor girl or not it's fine to be upset. If you're a loud crier or need some space to collect yourself you can always step outside for a moment

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Topseyt123 · 16/06/2022 13:26

You are allowed to be upset at a funeral, and especially as the deceased was a teenager, gone way before their time.

Just be quietly dignified about it rather than weeping out loud and you will be fine. I am sure your friend appreciates the gesture of you being there. You sound like a lovely friend.

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AiryFairy1 · 16/06/2022 13:27

I was going to say the same thing. Loud gasping crying probably not ok, silent weeping better. Bring tissues so there’s not too much sniffing.
Good luck. It will be a sad day, but hopefully the focus will be on the teen’s life. I’m sure your friend will be very grateful to have you there.
My mum said after my brother died (aged just 2), that she knew who her real friends were - the ones who showed up, not the ones who made all sorts of excuses not to come.

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FourTeaFallOut · 16/06/2022 13:30

It's a funeral, just keep your head down, try not to make a fuss of your own crying and breathe.

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drpet49 · 16/06/2022 13:32

Depends how emotional you get?

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maxelly · 16/06/2022 13:37

Exactly what others have said, this is a really sad event and totally appropriate to be sad and cry regardless how well you knew the person. In fact I'd think it odder and potentially more disrespectful if you sedated yourself and sat there passively/emotionless and staring glassily off. If you are a noisy/hyperventilating/wailing type crier and really can't help it then yes potentially that could be a distraction. I would get there early if so and secure a seat at the end of a row and at the back so you can very discreetly slip out if you find yourself going too far? Or maybe practice some breathing exercises or take a small comfort/sensory object in your pocket or bag to hold onto? It's ok also if the service is just too sad to listen to, you can abstract yourself a bit and just focus on your breathing or count backwards from a thousand or similar?

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FourTeaFallOut · 16/06/2022 13:38

FourTeaFallOut · 16/06/2022 13:30

It's a funeral, just keep your head down, try not to make a fuss of your own crying and breathe.

And if you can't do that I think you need to think about whether you are the right person to support your friend. I expect the last think she'll need is having to coach you through her own daughters's funeral.

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LampBookPicture · 16/06/2022 13:38

OP I totally get this, having struggled to contain my emotions for years. I totally understand your fears about crying too much when it's not your family funeral. My tips over the years are: look up. Look at the ceiling- and literally drain the tears back down their ducts. Wear waterproof mascara or none at all. Wear sunglasses where possible. Focus on a single point- like a statue. Don't sing. I Can't sing without crying. Pathetic.

I've often said if I could take a pill to stop me being so emotional I would, but really no one thinks badly of us types. You are just empathetic. That's a good thing to be.

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Geneviev · 16/06/2022 13:39

I mean crying is fine. It’s so terribly sad. Sistine Chapel-esque screaming probably not so much. Can you not…just control it?

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Cazzawazzalazza · 16/06/2022 13:41

Unless you are the MN who wailed at the Sistene Chapel I don't think anyone would notice.

I understand what you mean though. I went to a work colleagues funeral and felt very out of place. It was filled with her family and friends, people I didn't know at all. I felt like I didn't deserve to be there or feel sad she was gone. Although I still did.

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Cazziebo · 16/06/2022 13:43

This is something I worry about. I'm not an emotional person, but when I am, I'm disproportionately emotional. I understand the issue - it's not your "own" bereavement so loud sobbing isn't appropriate. I've actually held myself together at parents', sister's, children's funerals but found it hard to contain myself at more distanced people. It's as if another's funeral releases all the pent up emotion from my dad's or my sister's. A few coping mechanisms I learned from an NLP practitioner :

Imagine the scene in front of you in monochrome. As the colour fades away you become more detached

Focus on your physical self. What do you feel under your feet? Are your knees locked or relaxed. Move your mind up your body and consciously relax any areas of tension.

Concentrate on breathing. Breathe in deeply and slowly, exhale slowly for twice as long as the inhale.

The fact you're there will bring tremendous comfort to the bereaved.

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MadeInChelt · 16/06/2022 13:51

To actually reduce crying, try drinking from a bottle of water or pushing your tongue to the roof of your mouth. It obviously won’t stop the emotion but can stop a bit of a blub. No one is going to point out though that you are crying and shouldn’t be. It’s incredibly sad, the loss of a child whether you know them or not. The emotion will be high and it’s not unreasonable to be upset. X

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Orangesox · 16/06/2022 13:52

Geneviev · 16/06/2022 13:39

I mean crying is fine. It’s so terribly sad. Sistine Chapel-esque screaming probably not so much. Can you not…just control it?

This is pretty much my thought process. Crying, normal. Wailing unless they were your very close family or closest friend, big fat nope.

I think almost everyone cried at my mums funeral in March... but there was no wailing or screaming, people managed to keep themselves composed enough to not do that in public.

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mewkins · 16/06/2022 13:53

OP, I know what you mean. I find funerals so hard and the more you try to control it the worse it becomes. No good advice really but you are allowed to feel sad and to have empathy. Agree that trying to get a seat at the end of the row may be good. Also take a bottle of water with you as it may calm you down if you feel a bit overwhelmed.

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WhatsInAMolatovMocktail · 16/06/2022 13:56

I know what you mean. I also cry at every funeral, because every funeral reminds me of every loss ice suffered. It all comes flooding back, and then seeing other people distressed too makes me terribly upset.

Honestly I try to think about something completely else, if the emotions get too much. I think about my garden, what I'm going to eat for dinner. Anything. Usually i only need to take my mind elsewhere for a few minutes and then I'm back in control.

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fluffiphlox · 16/06/2022 14:00

I think as long as you don’t prostrate yourself while sobbing guttural sobs you will be fine. Everyone will probably shed a tear and nobody will be focused on you.

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thestarvingcaterpillar · 16/06/2022 14:02

I completly get where you are coming from, I too find funerals overwhelming and can't help but sob no matter whose it's is or how close we were. One thing I've found that helps is to focus on something in the room and count it be it bricks or bits of stained glass, anything to occupy your mind!

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SirenSays · 16/06/2022 14:04

Do you have to attend? I'm quite honest with people that I don't cope well with them.
I offer to do something else for the family instead. Usually it's cooking or baking so they don't have to worry about it. I've also gone over and cleaned houses, done laundry, changed beds..etc just the day to day stuff no grieving person wants to deal with.

If I do have to attend, I usually go with tissues, baby wipes, snacks for children as no one ever brings enough and keep myself busy doling them out to people.
I find the silence when the music starts is the worst part and prefer to step outside for it.

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Giveitall · 16/06/2022 14:05

In my experience, depending on the age of the teen, you might find the service/ceremony is crowded with school mates and other young people. It might turn out to be a celebration of her life so albeit it will be emotional for everyone at times, it could also be uplifting?
Please take the coping advice from others on here and make sure you take tissues to dab your eyes/blow nose.
The family will probably all sit towards the front so you may want to sit further back unless invited forward? Take a step outside (aisle seat) if you feel overwhelmed.
Your friend must be indescribably heartbroken. I send my condolences to her & you as you help her through this.

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IncessantNameChanger · 16/06/2022 14:10

I got really upset at my aunts funeral. It was just her death but because my mum, her sister didnt want to go.

So when it was my friends mum funeral I did lots of deep breathing and walked around few moments straight after while my mate was talking to family.

It's ok to cry. Have a cry then try the breathing techniques. I dont think its possible to hold in the tears and be composed

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Hullabaloo31 · 16/06/2022 14:11

Totally agree with everyone else, even if it's not 'your' loss, it's crying for other peoples' pain, be that acquaintances or a dear friend. That's just empathy.

Honestly, as long as you're not making a racket it's perfectly fine. Just be there.

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