Do men and women grieve differently? It’s a question that arises from time to time. The answer seems to be yes and no.
Men and women appear to experience many of the same thoughts and feelings in their grief processes. The difference seems to be related to how they express these thoughts and feelings. Although there are various causes to this difference in expression, it’s still important to cope with one’s grief in a healthy way.
Here are some tips for men grieving the loss of a loved one:
Take good care of yourself – Get proper exercise, nutrition, and sleep, and see your doctor.
Don’t isolate – It’s okay to be alone sometimes, but understand that you are not alone in your grief.
Find someone you feel comfortable talking to – One of the toughest parts of grief for men is the feeling of vulnerability. It’s important to find someone with whom to be open and share your story.
Let yourself feel the feelings – It’s okay to feel any emotion in your grief process. Contrary to popular clichés, men do feel more than emotions than happy, angry, and hungry!
Find a focus for the energy of your grief – It can be helpful to connect grief work to a project (planting a tree, making a memory book, a home project, helping others etc).
Find meaningful ways to stay connected to the deceased – Talk to your loved one, write them a letter, go to a place you both enjoyed, spend time with your shared memories.
Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself – Occasionally a grieving man will catch himself having fun; don’t feel guilty about enjoying your life in the absence of your loved one.
Get help from a professional – There are counselors and support groups that can help. Some focus on the relationship you shared with your loved one, whereas others are just for men grieving.
Grief is a universal human experience, man or woman, and at all ages. It is the process by which we heal after a loss. There is no one correct methods or steps to grieve, and the only wrong way is to refuse to do it. Just remember that you’ve made it through every day so far.