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Everyone grieves differently.
We may have some feelings in common. They include sadness, helplessness, and anger. But we process them in our own ways.
Many factors affect how you grieve. These include:
Gender and culture can also play a role in how we grieve. They shape how we process and express emotions. Men and women often differ in how they grieve. But everyone’s experience is different.
Many men grow up feeling like they should hold in their emotions. For boys, crying may have been viewed as a sign of weakness.
People who feel pressure to be strong and independent might limit displays of emotion or avoid talking about their feelings.
During grief, men may be more likely to:
Men may try to cope by:
Women are more likely to express grief with others. They may seek out connections and accept help.
Women may be more likely to:
Women may try to cope by:
There is no “normal” grief response. It is common to have many feelings and behaviors. The important thing is that each person feels like their grief is accepted and supported by other family members.
Everyone needs support in grief. After losing a child, family members need to know their responses are normal. Families need to find ways to connect and come together in their grief.
It can help to remember that:
Resources are available to help family members in their grief. Some people find it helpful to read books from authors with a similar grief perspective. Support groups can help people find connection and sense of belonging in grief. Professional help is also available.
Marriage and family counseling can be an important resource to help. Family members learn to accept differences in grieving and find ways to grieve together.
Reviewed: August 2023