The Big Day

Yes, there is an Agatha Christie novel named “After the Funeral”; a who ‘done it’ book. In life, there is no made-up story and plot that keeps you on your toes. What happens on the big day and after the funeral of someone you dearly loved is a huge letdown and a spiral into grief. Those who adore you are frequently left floundering, struggling to find the right words and actions.

At First

After the big day and Immediately after the loss of a loved one, people gather and offer support. You are surrounded by family and friends and engulfed with love. You are showered with condolences, texts, meals, flowers, and visits. The problem is that you are exhausted and unprepared for the amount of attention you receive. Often you are also busy with arrangements and functioning on autopilot. The full intensity of grief hasn’t hit; you are still in a haze from the trauma. During this time, I was never left alone.

What A Relief

My sons did the arrangements for their baby sister and reported back, I felt involved as much as I could be. My two sons picked the casket and met with the church staff. At the time, I felt I had a baby-sitter and family was keeping an eye on me. I couldn’t earn their confidence. I was swept away in a tumultuous tornado of emotions during the funeral, guided every step of the way. My home was brimming with family and friends who had traveled from near and far.


After the funeral, everyone goes back to their normal life, but your life is anything but normal. Of course, your family and friends dearly love you, but they have their own lives. Your grief isn’t part of their daily lives. Nowadays, you grapple with an unrelenting anguish that crushes your spirit like a landslide. The haze starts to lift, and the magnitude of your reality and grief is staring at you. You have no idea how to navigate this life with grief. Your friends have trouble relating and quite frankly, have no idea what to say. Since friends and family have trouble with all this, they withdraw. It’s just easier that way. As this happens the isolation of grief intensifies.  

Saying The Wrong Thing

Some people will avoid you simply for fear they may say the wrong things. Others will say the wrong thing and you must deal with their hurtful words. You may hear comments such as “Life goes on”, “At least you still have other children”, “I know how you feel, my 93-year-old great grandmother passed away”, “They are in a better place”, “God needed a new angel”, and my favorite- “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”. I heard all of these heart-wrenching words echoing in my ears when my beloved 24-year-old daughter was ruthlessly murdered. Her death was even compared to a beloved pet dying. So be prepared. Sometimes, it’s better to just excuse yourself and leave. Anticipating a reaction is preferable to being blindsided.


After the funeral it is beyond difficult for everyone. You are trying to cope with your new reality and others don’t know what to say or do. Give yourself grace. Give others grace.  

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