Men, Women, Children Grieve Differently

by Andrea Hilgendorf

Grief is a painful struggle, but also a normal reaction to loss. There are many different ways to confront grief and each person deals with grief in a different way. Men, women and children do not and will never experience and express grief the same way. Although never truly resolved, grief must be expressed to reach a passage of healing. The transition for a man from grief to healing could be accomplished by performing physical tasks. On the other hand, a woman may talk with others and share her grief. A child will need encouragement from a parent or other adults close to them to identify and express his or her emotions. Men and children are less able to put into words what they are feeling during the grieving process. They are much more likely to put their feeling into action and deal with the grief physically rather than emotionally.

Typically, men do not feel comfortable expressing their grief verbally. It will help you to understand that men are goal oriented. They will commence activities or perform tasks to fulfill a sense of accomplishment. For example, men may build a memorial or write a eulogy for his loved one. Either task fulfills a sense of accomplishment and distracts his thoughts until he is ready to begin the transition back to reality and reach a passage to healing. Men tend to control their outward show of emotion. Even though men express little or no emotion he is still feeling a devastating sense of loss.

Women, on the other hand, easily express their grief emotionally. Endlessly remembering, talking and spending extended periods crying over their loss. Women find their place in the world through relationships so it will come as no surprise they become more active in organizations and groups after the loss of a loved one. Sharing, expressing and experiencing her grief socially will encourage a passage to healing after loss.

Children experience a spectrum of losses. They need to learn and be encouraged to experience their grief in ways that are familiar to them. Children often do well expressing their feelings of grief in playtime, art and music. During playtime children transcend into a fantasy world. At this time, acknowledge the child’s recognition or rejection of their loved one’s passing. Slowly the child will begin to translate the grief and healing into reality.

Whether we are men, women or children, the way we grieve is extraordinarily individual. Furthermore, there is no right way to grieve. Regardless of differences in individual grief, two components need to be established, support and encouragement from others. If you are grieving talk to people you can trust and who love you. Share your thoughts and emotions. No matter who you are, grief must be expressed before it can be resolved and before you can reach a passage to healing.

Andrea Hilgendorf has been a Graphic Designer for 15 years,and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Wayne State University, in Detroit Michigan and is now the Owner and Executive Director of Marketing for Remember Me Stone Company. Here You can visit the Company’s website http://www.remembermestones.com.

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