When you can’t have a traditional funeral it’s a cruel, double loss. This is where we are now.
If you have been drawn to this post then perhaps you have just suffered a terrible loss, and won’t get to celebrate your loved one’s life and mourn your loss with the funeral that you and they might have wanted.
And if that is so, I’m sorry.
This post is about why funerals matter, what might be different without one, how that might affect you, and ways to help yourself through it.
Most of what we’re seeing this last fortnight has been a mixture of horror stories and humour, the kind we Irish are particularly good at in times of adversity. Good old fashioned denial has its place.
Christmas has a way of jerking those tears right out of us doesn’t it? It’s a time where the pressure to be happy is really on – HO HO HO! Jeepers. It’s a cheer fest, that’s for sure. One that would make the calmest people want to gouge their own eyes out if they are also trying to cope with feeling of loss and loneliness. Feelings that don’t “match” with how we are ‘supposed’ to feel Christmas.
It’s a question that’s bothering parents all over Ireland today. Probably even more so this year as it falls on a Friday. Kids are coming home from school asking if they can go out, can they drink, can they drink at home? C’mon just the one?? You’re so boring… Everyone else has cooler parents… Can they have their friends over for a couple of cans – nothing too heavy, no spirits in fairness…
Some people woke up this morning feeling dark, empty, hopeless. Maybe they didn’t sleep, again. They feel desperate, crazy even, from lack of sleep. Not being able to think straight, not even knowing that they’re not thinking straight. Some people today can see no value, no point in being alive. There is no joy, not even peace. A quiet mind would be enough. But how to get that…
So, the exams are over and you’re thinking “Yay! Stress? Nah – done, distant memory, ‘be grand now!”
And it is done for some, but for others a new and unexpected stress has already kicked in. It’s a little trickier than pre-exam stress, because the people around you might assume all students are now the embodiment of Zen and relaxation, because technically the exams are over.
These last days of school see students summarising, timing, perfecting essays/questions etc. Many have finished up completely, emotions are high, end of year ceremonies have begun. Now for the final push.
All eyes are firmly set on the calendar as the final countdown begins.