When a friend, family member or loved one dies, many people think there are certain ways they’re “supposed” to feel. However, the passing of somebody close to you will undoubtedly come as a shock, and sometimes people just don’t experience or show the emotions they expected to.
Grief is surprising and unpredictable, and it’s different for each individual person, so if you’re yet to cry after the death of a loved one, it’s important to remember that this is perfectly normal. There are a whole host of reasons why this could be happening, and we’ve listed just a few of them in this article.
If the recently deceased suffered from a long-term or terminal illness, you may have already experienced anticipatory grief, which could explain why you haven’t cried since you lost them. Anticipatory grief is an emotional response to loss before it actually happens; you were expecting the death and so you’ve already felt the attached grief.
This pre-acceptance can affect the way you grieve following the death, and may even ease your sense of loss. Remember that this is a normal process, so try to go easy on yourself when you don’t cry the way you expected when a loved one passes.
A natural response to the passing of someone close is to feel numb. You may be expecting to experience anger, depression, loneliness, frustration or something else, but emotional numbness can commonly kick in and lead to feelings of nothing at all. We understand how awful this can be, and you may feel as though others cannot relate to you – especially when they seem to be more “in touch” with their feelings. This is a confusing time; it’s likely that your feelings will return, and know that this is not a negative reflection on you or your relationship with your loved one.
Often, the expected grief comes later, and may be triggered by events such as funerals, anniversaries or conversations with people close to you.
Grief is very private to some people, and it’s normal to keep your emotions inside to provide a strong support system to others that are affected by the death. Grief is a complicated emotion, and you may not be showing yours through tears simply because you’re confused about the way you feel, or you don’t want to make others feel worse than they already do.
We all cope with loss in our own ways. When you’re ready, talk about your feelings with someone you trust and remember that you’re allowed to feel whichever emotions you have.
At Affordable Cremations, we’re there for families across New South Wales who are dealing with the death of a loved one and require a sympathetic funeral planning service. We’ve seen people deal with grief in so many different ways, and we can confidently say it’s normal to be less emotional than you expected right now.
Of course, if you’re still struggling to make sense of your emotions on your own, you could consider seeing a counsellor who can talk through your recent experience and the feelings that you have. Just remember that whether you’re feeling distraught, confused, overwhelmed or nothing at all, there are people that can help you to get through this time.