Friday, January 27, 2012

Grieving: Men vs. Women

I had posted this a long time ago, but somehow the post got lost and deleted. I wanted to re-post it now in case anyone wanted to read it. It was a list we made at a Fall Family Day with Children's Bereavement Services. We split up into two groups: men and women. We were asked what we wanted the opposite sex to know about how we grieve. (Of course, the women had much more to say!)

What Men Want Women to Know
-We handle grief more privately (less tears)
-We analyze/ intellectualize our grief; this is an expression of our emotions
-We "do" our grief
-We defer our grief, because we protect, provide, and fix

What Women Want Men to Know
-Mention our child’s name/bring them up
-Share stories
-I sometimes have a desire to be alone or have space
-My emotions can be unpredictable; I may have different triggers than you
-Your acceptance and respect that we grieve differently is important-don’t judge the difference
-Verbalize that you are grieving also
-I don’t need you to FIX it for me-just be there for me and respect and support me and the decisions I make in my grief
-Recognize we may need additional external support
-The meaning of and our sensitivity to certain events may be different-allow us the freedom to change our minds/back out of things; I may not want to explain it or talk about it
-Don’t pressure me to get rid of or pack up our child’s belongings before I am ready
-Allow me time in our child’s room if I want/need it
-I appreciate the tasks-the “doing” that demonstrates your grief
-It’s helpful when you share with me what helped you get through your day
-Acknowledge holidays/other important days
-I appreciate your flexibility with my emotions/reactions
-I appreciate and enjoy hearing what you remember about our child
-I see your emotions as strength
-Ask me to communicate about our grief

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