How Women Express Grief, the Special Grieving Needs of Women
We’ve all heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. This is also true when it comes to grieving.
This Women’s History Month, we want to honor women’s stories of grief and their special needs. Women are more likely to openly express their feelings after losing a loved one. They’re more likely to seek support and counseling services than their male counterparts. However, women have a complicated relationship with their emotions and vulnerability. The belief that women are more emotional than men is one of the strongest gender stereotypes held in our society. When expressing emotions, women can be perceived as irrational, bitter, resentful, or weak.
If you are a woman who is experiencing grief, here are a few things to consider while working through your grief in a healthy way:
Build Community with Other Women & Share
Friendship with other women provides women with many benefits, including reduced physiological and psychological distress (https://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/24978). Women who are grieving benefit from connectedness with other women to process their feelings. Connecting and sharing with other women can help them feel heard and increase their closeness within their community of women. It can also help women deepen their perspective on their grief. Community with other women can support the grieving cycle symptoms and allow a supportive place for grief acceptance.
Seek Grief Counseling
Grief therapy is focused on bereavement and helps clients identify and process any distressing feelings around their grief. For people facing grief, counseling can validate their feelings and provide a safe, non-judgmental space. It also is a place where women can fully express their emotions in a non-bias environment. Women are sometimes labeled as emotional, and the Psychology of Women Quarterly notes that labeling a woman “emotional” makes her less credible to others. In the counseling environment, women can unload and feel their emotions freely without any judgment.
Memorialize Your Loved One
After a loved one passes and the months go along, the pain remains. A remembrance activity to memorialize your loved one is a way to celebrate their life and find closure. It’s also a way to bring loved ones together. This transition from a physical life to a memorialized life allows the griever to develop a spiritual relationship with their loved one.
Following these steps allows women to grieve in a healthy way and helps decrease symptoms of anger, bitterness, illness, and physical symptoms. Grief is not easy, and it takes time. It can cause a cycle that attempts to process the grief and the changes we face during grief. These steps listed help women protect themselves while adapting to their new reality. It’s also important to remember that this process looks different for everyone. Being intentional about your grief process and giving it time will ensure better days ahead.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.