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Old 06-10-2017, 03:47 PM
 
361 posts, read 177,119 times
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My great-uncle died this past Monday after a brief, but sudden, illness. He was 84, but it was still a sudden and upsetting loss. I didn't see him at all in the hospital before he passed, and I was upset when I first heard about it, but I didn't cry because I hadn't seen him since mid-February. I always went over to his house as a little kid, but the only contact we had besides Christmas Eve and any other really special occasions after I got older was Facebook. His wake was Wednesday night, and I got teary eyed when I first went up to the open casket, but was mostly fine for the rest of the time. Then at the end, when only the family was left and I was about to head home, I went up to the casket one more time to say goodbye and say a prayer, and I was legitimately crying while walking away and was hugged by a couple of other family members. I also shed a couple of tears in bed that night, but not a lot. However, at the funeral and the burial Thursday morning, I was stone faced and didn't shed a tear. All of the women were wailing and a couple of the men were wiping their eyes as the casket was brought into the church, then during the eulogy, and there was audible sobbing on the way out of the church, but I didn't cry at all despite how upset I was. When I placed a rose on the casket at the burial and walked away, I was misty eyed again, but didn't actually cry at all. And once I got home, I was also more noticeably upset than at the service. I really don't understand why I couldn't cry at the funeral, which was probably a million times sadder than the wake. Is it really normal to have a worse reaction at the wake? Most of the men were not crying at the funeral either, but I really hoped I would have just a little bit at least. I always thought the funeral was supposed to be worse, but it was the first time I ever had it happen to a relative. One of my cousins is going through anxiety right now (not from this) and I was somewhat thinking about that when I first saw him, plus I was tired from going to bed late the night before, so perhaps I was distracted by that.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:33 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 5,251,370 times
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I'm sorry about your loss. My answer would be that human emotions are not predictable nor standardized. There is not a "normal reaction" to either the funeral or the wake. You may have been more shocked at the wake; seeing the body of someone you cared about can be shocking. It sounds like you wanted to cry at the funeral in order to show your other family members that you, like them, were grieving. Sometimes families and cultures have expectations of how much grievers express their grief publicly. I imagine you wanted to fit in with what you saw others do. But unless you are an actress skilled in this, crying cannot be turned on like that. People experience grief in many different ways. You feel what you feel.

I shed some silent tears at my husband's funeral, but no sobbing. I have sobbed frequently over his loss, but on that occasion, I didn't. My son asked me why it was that he only cried a few, short times at his father's death. My answer is that I don't know, but I know it doesn't mean he didn't love his father. I know that I have feelings of loss and grief frequently that do not show; no one would notice or recognize that I am suffering at that moment. That's OK.

My point is that you should accept your feelings, tears or no tears. Be kind and understanding of those who grieve in a different way from you, but don't feel that you have to imitate them. You know how you felt about your great uncle, and you don't have to demonstrate it or prove it to anyone else.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
2,276 posts, read 928,196 times
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First of all, I'm sorry about your loss.

There is no standard reaction people have to grief or to funerals/wakes. I've seen people who appear calm and almost serene at wakes/funerals then just completely break down a week afterward. I've also seen people who are fine at the wake but cry uncontrollably at the funeral. My sister gets nervous at the wake and has an unfortunate habit of laughing when she is nervous It has caused some very awkward moments at wakes where there are people who are not family and are not familiar with her nervous habit. My aunt passed away 10 years ago and it tore me up inside but my mom was already crying and the more someone emotionally reacted around her, the more upset she got. I had to keep a stony face which was the hardest thing I had to do; it literally hurt my chest to do it.

Don't feel the need to analyze or judge yourself for how you reacted at the wake and funeral. Losing someone takes time to fully process so you might still be partially in shock. Also remember that a funeral and wake are public venues and it's less comfortable to express emotion publicly for most people--myself included. It's normal for people to periodically have spells of grief afterwards so don't feel like you are the only one. Don't try to compare yourself to others and be easy on yourself--the amount of tears you shed doesn't correlate with how you felt about your great uncle.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,716 posts, read 21,770,674 times
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So many people in my life have died, I'm not sure I have any more tears. My grandparents, parents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, brother, nephew, and some friends are gone.

It's just one more thing.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:08 PM
 
361 posts, read 177,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie Joseph View Post
First of all, I'm sorry about your loss.

There is no standard reaction people have to grief or to funerals/wakes. I've seen people who appear calm and almost serene at wakes/funerals then just completely break down a week afterward. I've also seen people who are fine at the wake but cry uncontrollably at the funeral. My sister gets nervous at the wake and has an unfortunate habit of laughing when she is nervous It has caused some very awkward moments at wakes where there are people who are not family and are not familiar with her nervous habit. My aunt passed away 10 years ago and it tore me up inside but my mom was already crying and the more someone emotionally reacted around her, the more upset she got. I had to keep a stony face which was the hardest thing I had to do; it literally hurt my chest to do it.

Don't feel the need to analyze or judge yourself for how you reacted at the wake and funeral. Losing someone takes time to fully process so you might still be partially in shock. Also remember that a funeral and wake are public venues and it's less comfortable to express emotion publicly for most people--myself included. It's normal for people to periodically have spells of grief afterwards so don't feel like you are the only one. Don't try to compare yourself to others and be easy on yourself--the amount of tears you shed doesn't correlate with how you felt about your great uncle.
I'm "happy" about how I reacted at the wake. I actually was crying at the wake, but didn't cry at all at the funeral or interment. It was actually the reverse from what most people do.
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Old 06-22-2017, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Midvale, Idaho
1,428 posts, read 2,254,345 times
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So sorry for the loss of your Great- Uncle.

Since I did not have services for my husband ,at his request, I can not quite answer you on that. But I some times wonder why my own lack of tears after losing my husband. I cried rivers before he died. Tried not to do so in front of him but he always could tell and would tell me to stop crying he was not dead yet. Then four years of cancer treatments and gut kicks and having to keep emotional control of my emotions and keep it together to hold up my end of the bargain and be able to do the errands while he was getting chemo and in safe hands. And to hold strong for him and myself to be able to keep going on day after day through total exhaustion some times. Some times I wonder if I have turned myself into a stone. So I do understand your questioning this. Oh Yes I have had a few big time melt downs since hubby died. But honestly now I try not to because I am a mess for a couple of days after with headache and just feeling totally wiped out. Certainly hurts me more than it does him. Maybe we are just not to question how or when our emotions will strike.
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