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How Do You Maintain Composure at a Funeral?

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    It can be challenging to keep one's composure during the funeral of a close family member or friend. It is possible for the event to be traumatic, and this is especially true in cases where the deceased person had a difficult or even violent death. During the course of the ceremony, it is not unusual for attendees to become emotional and shed a few tears.

    Generally speaking, going to a funeral home for the purpose of attending a service or a visitation can be an emotionally taxing experience. However, if you are worried that you will become overly emotional during the process, it can often make things more difficult for you.

    Even though it's natural to feel sad in a setting like a funeral home, you shouldn't let your emotions get the best of you to the point where it disturbs the other people who are there or the family who is mourning the loss of a loved one.

    There are a number of strategies that you can implement in order to keep your composure under control in the event that you are determined not to lose it and start crying. You might want to give these three suggestions a shot.

    How is it possible to maintain composure when attending the funeral of someone you have loved deeply and whose loss is completely overwhelming you?

    When we lose someone who is very important to us, such as a member of our family or a friend who was very special to us, we experience a range of intense emotions. It is not unusual to experience a feeling of being completely engulfed by grief. Here at Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals, we provide religious and traditional funeral services.

    There are, however, actions that you can take in advance to better prepare yourself emotionally for the funeral, making it more likely that you will be able to keep your composure and remain calm throughout the service.

    FAQs About Funerals

    The practice of leaving flowers at graves began thousands of years ago when the ancient Greeks would honor fallen warriors. They believed that if the flowers rooted into the ground and grew from the gravesite, it was a sign that the fallen had found peace.

    Respect the graves.


    Touching monuments or headstones is extremely disrespectful and in some cases, may cause damage. For example, some older memorials might be in disrepair and could fall apart under the slightest touch. Be sure to walk in between the headstones, and don't stand on top of a burial place.

    Even pointing at a grave could bring bad luck. Given the proliferation of photos of graveyards, that means a lot of people have been willingly courting bad luck! According to one website, collecting epitaphs means the collector will lose their memory.

    Lilies are one of the most common funeral flowers. They are very aromatic and the smell often reminds people of special events like Easter, Mother's Day or a loved one's funeral service. The white lily stands for peace, purity and sympathy.

    Purple flowers represent respect, sorrow, sympathy and admiration. Yellow flowers signify friendship, warmth and hope. Pink flowers represent grace, compassion and innocence.

    Different Experiences of Grief

    how do you maintain composure at a funeral

    We are all affected by grief in our own unique ways. There are some people who constantly have the urge to cry. Some people appear to "go blank," giving off the impression that they have no feelings at all.

    Others might experience a sudden surge of nervous energy that causes them to frantically rush around and get things done, or they might find themselves nervously giggling and laughing.

    All of these are typical responses to the loss that one goes through.

    The Dilemmas Posed by Funerals

    People frequently report feeling as though they are in a bind when it comes to making funeral arrangements. On the one hand, a funeral is (typically) an event that is open to the public.

    Therefore, you get the impression that you are being watched, and as a result, you are expected to behave in accordance with the social norms that are considered appropriate in public settings.

    The majority of people understand this to mean that you must always give the impression of being calm, regardless of how you truly feel. You need to give the impression that you are "in control."

    On the other hand, the funeral of a loved one is an intensely personal matter in which you want to show how you feel about the person who has left this life. You want to show that you cared about the person who has passed away.

    However, expressing how you feel puts you at risk of allowing those unfiltered feelings to surface. What happens if you have a mental breakdown?

    It is sad that social convention can add an additional burden on the day of the funeral. Having to deal with grief is difficult enough on its own; it is even more upsetting that this burden can be added.

    How Real Grief Can Be Expressed With Composure and Calm

    To our good fortune, matters do not need to be resolved in such a binary fashion. In the end, displaying no emotion at all or allowing your emotions to take control are not the only two options.

    It is entirely possible to maintain an appropriate composure and express genuine feelings of loss and grief if one is adequately prepared for the situation.

    This ensures that the deceased person will receive the highest possible level of respect after their passing.

    Find a Support Partner

    Have a conversation with the people in your group of friends or family members to locate someone who will accompany you to the funeral home and act as your support partner while the services are being performed.

    This is of utmost significance if you will be attending the event by yourself, as opposed to being accompanied by a spouse or partner who would normally be there to offer support.

    You should make it a point to stand with this support partner as much as possible and even use some supportive physical touch with each other. A gentle squeeze on the arm or a firm hug can help you feel better and prevent you from breaking down when you start to feel overly emotional. Make it a point to stand with this support partner as much as possible and even use some supportive physical touch with each other.

    Breathe When You Speak

    One of the simplest things you can do to help keep your composure is to remind yourself to breathe. It's easy to take quick, shallow breaths when you're feeling stressed out or emotional for some reason.

    The problem with doing so is that this type of breathing can give you the sensation of being out of breath, which will only make you feel more stressed out.

    It's a never-ending cycle that almost always causes you to lose control of your emotions.

    During your time at the funeral home, make it a point to focus on taking full, deep breaths and to ensure that you are always taking appropriate breaths when you are speaking.

    If you do this, you will prevent yourself from speaking in a nervous, hurried manner that will cause you stress. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funeral Directors are here to help make the funeral process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.

    Keep a Bottle of Water Handy

    You can calm your nerves by drinking water throughout the day.

    Focus your attention on taking a few sips of water and enjoying the sense of revitalisation that comes from doing so whenever you get the sense that you are about to lose your composure.

    This will remove you temporarily from the emotionally draining environment, ideally for a period of time that is long enough to assist you in regaining your composure.

    Pay attention to taking small sips because the last thing you want to do during a lengthy funeral service is drink too much and then have to leave the room to use the restroom.

    Funeral homes will make an effort to provide a secure and soothing atmosphere for services, but they may have to make some accommodations.

    Talk to Someone Before the Funeral

    Have a conversation with somebody before the funeral. Find someone you can talk to about anything and everything. You should seek the assistance of a trusted friend, counsellor, or religious leader in order to manage your feelings and acquire perspective.

    Talk to other people who knew the deceased and were close to them. Reminisce and tell each other humorous anecdotes to make each other laugh. This will make it easier for you to concentrate on remembering only happy thoughts while you are at the ceremony.

    Accept Your Emotions

    Recognize and accept your feelings. Understand that you are currently in a period of mourning and that it is necessary for you to go through all of the stages of grief.

    Mourning is a normal and necessary reaction to a loss that has occurred. It's possible that making an effort to fight it will only make you feel more exposed.

    Cry as Much as You Need

    Weep as much as you feel you need to. If you give yourself permission to completely let go of your feelings before hand, you may find that the burden of your grief is lifted, which will make it easier for you to maintain your composure.


    Stay near a close friend or relative during the funeral. This person can provide you with emotional support and comfort.

    How to Speak at a Funeral Without Crying

    If you're speaking at a funeral, you probably want to present the best version of yourself. 

    It's not always easy to talk in front of others— and even more challenging if you're trying to keep your emotions in check. Visit Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals to know more about our prepaid funeral service and find the best funeral option for your unique situation.

    Follow these steps below if you're worried about crying during a funeral speech. 

    Practice Makes Perfect

    The first thing you should do is work on perfecting your delivery.

    If you are writing a eulogy or another type of memorial, it is a good idea to practise reading it out loud to yourself or to a friend you can rely on.

    The more you go over the material in rehearsal, the more at ease you'll feel with the presentation.

    When you're up there in front of an audience, don't be afraid to let your feelings show. However, you do not want these feelings to prevent others from understanding what you are trying to convey.

    In this context, getting lots of practise is the best way to improve. The more times you deliver your speech, the less of an emotional impact it will have on you.

    Control Your Breathing

    It is natural to experience stage fright prior to giving a eulogy at a funeral. The level of emotion is already quite high. You also need to make sure that you don't let your breath get out of control.

    Put your attention on your breathing to bring the speed of your movements back down to a more manageable level. If you're having trouble maintaining control of the situation, count to ten.

    Before you get up on stage to deliver your speech, make sure you give yourself some time to relax your body.

    Look Up

    If you feel as though tears are beginning to form in your eyes as you prepare to go on stage, try this trick. If you want to stop the tears from streaming down your face, look up above the crowd.

    First, it takes your attention away from the distraught expressions on the faces of those you care about. The sight of all of these miserable people in the crowd may bring tears to your eyes.

    On the other hand, looking up stops tears that have already formed from running down your face and dampens your cheeks.

    Take Your Time

    Take your time, that's all I ask. Your words should come straight from the bottom of your heart. Do not allow yourself to feel pressured into rushing through it, particularly if you feel emotions beginning to build up inside of you.

    Your ability to control your feelings will improve if you read or recite the eulogy at a funeral in a slow and deliberate manner.

    Share Your Final Wishes, Just in Case.

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    How to Stop Yourself from Crying During the Service or Visitation

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    In addition to giving a speech, you may find that you need to find a way to keep yourself from crying throughout the funeral service.

    It's possible that you believe that your friends and family can always count on you to maintain your emotional equilibrium. The following are some suggestions to help you hold back your tears during the event.

    Breathe Evenly

    Once more, maintain control of your breathing. During the course of the service and the visitation, you might find it helpful to engage in some breathing exercises. Count to yourself so that you can keep your breathing under control rather than allowing it to become uncontrolled.

    If counting to ten isn't enough, try counting to twenty, fifty, or even one hundred instead. During the course of the service, it is perfectly acceptable to permit yourself to concentrate on your breathing.

    Blink Rapidly

    The rapid blinking of your eyes is another method for stopping your tears from falling.

    You can wipe away any tears with this method, but it won't prevent more from streaming down your face in the first place. You will also prevent them from forming if you do this.

    If you find that you are unable to blink quickly, try blinking more slowly instead. When you really open your eyes, you can stop the tears from coming out of your eyes before they even start.

    Although at first you might find this to be strange, it's an excellent piece of advice to keep in mind.

    Pinch Your Nose

    Your tear ducts are the source of all of your tears. Your eyes' inner corners and the sides of your nose are the locations where you store your tears.

    You can stop your body from producing tears by applying pressure to the bridge of your nose. It is recommended that you perform this action when you first feel the tears beginning to form rather than after they have appeared.

    Think Happy Thoughts

    When you are at a funeral, it is difficult to think happy thoughts, and this is especially true if you were close to the person who passed away.

    A welcome diversion, on the other hand, is to pause for a few moments to concentrate on something pleasurable.

    Consider a joyful time, person, or experience from your past. Your objective here is to pull yourself away from this painful experience.

    There are times when the only thing you need to do to stop the tears from falling is to give yourself a brief break.

    Sip Water

    Have you ever been overcome with emotion and felt a lump in your throat as tears began to form in your eyes?

    This lump is a natural reaction that occurs in the body. It is a physical process that is out of your control that is driven by the muscles in the back of your throat, opening up to allow you to breathe more easily.

    Sipping water slowly, on the other hand, can help to calm this feeling and divert your attention.

    The dreaded sensation of something sticking in your throat can be alleviated by taking small sips. It is also a way to redirect your bodily response away from crying, which is another benefit of doing so.

    Gaze Away

    Looking away from the casket or the person speaking can help bring you back into the here and now if you are attending a funeral or wake.

    Put your attention on something unremarkable, like a wall or an everyday object. It's possible that this brief reprieve is all that's necessary to help you calm down.

    It is considered courteous to direct one's attention to something close to the person who is speaking; however, one may also direct one's attention to something nearby.

    It is possible to stop crying by using your handbag, jewellery, clothing, or even another person who is nearby. All of these are good options.

    Know What to Expect

    Your feelings may also be eased if you are aware of what to anticipate during the funeral service. Learn what to anticipate, especially if this will be your first funeral or if you are not familiar with the specific rituals that will be observed.

    The best way to get yourself ready for something is to have some idea of what you can expect, such as whether or not there will be an open casket and other similar details.

    How do you know what to anticipate will happen? Conduct research into the cultural norms, religious practises, and secular traditions associated with funerals.

    In addition to this, you may also enquire with the family who will be presiding over the funeral about the manner in which the service will be conducted. The funeral service will typically begin with the reading of a service programmer.

    It's Okay to Cry: How to Embrace Crying and Your Feelings

    Last but not least, it is important to remind yourself that crying at a funeral is a completely normal and expected part of the grieving process.

    It is acceptable to display your feelings, even if doing so at first makes you feel awkward. The act of shedding tears is considered respectful behaviour at wakes in some cultures.

    Many people believe that shedding tears for the departed shows respect for both the person who has passed away and their family. Follow these steps if you feel like you need some assistance accepting your feelings.

    Bring Tissues or a Handkerchief

    The act of crying isn't always a pretty sight. When you're experiencing intense feelings, it's completely normal, and you shouldn't give any thought to how you come across to others because of it.

    However, bringing along some tissues or a handkerchief can help you feel like you have more control over your appearance when you're having trouble holding back the tears.

    Find Your Support

    It is not necessary for you to endure your pain in private. Funerals provide an opportunity for mourners to lean on one another and grow closer to one another.

    If you are having trouble feeling comfortable crying at a funeral, it may help to be surrounded by people you can trust. Having a strong community of support makes it simpler to work through these feelings.

    Remind Yourself of the Grieving Process

    Last but not least, keep in mind that shedding tears is a perfectly normal reaction to the loss you've experienced. When we cry, we are physically expressing how we feel inside. It's true that there are times when it makes you feel awkward, but you shouldn't be embarrassed about it.

    Grief can look very different depending on the person. At a funeral, just because you don't see other people crying doesn't mean they aren't also upset by the loss of a loved one.

    The passage of time is the aspect of the grieving process that is most important. Do not be ashamed of yourself if you find that you need to shed a few tears, or even several, while attending the funeral.

    It may be beneficial to cry. According to psychological research, doing so can have the dual effect of reducing stress and improving mood.

    The act of crying itself will reduce the amount of manganese in your body, which will ultimately help you feel better.

    Therefore, one method for overcoming feelings of melancholy and loss is to allow oneself the freedom to freely express their emotions. This is not something that should make you feel ashamed.

    Prepare for Your Next Funeral

    Funerals are typically very emotional occasions. It's natural to wish you had more control over your feelings when you're about to attend a funeral or give a eulogy at one; it happens to the best of us.

    The archetype of the overly emotional family member crying their eyes out during a funeral is well known to all of us. The act of shedding tears during the service of a deceased loved one is a natural and appropriate expression of grief.

    On the other hand, there are actions you can take to prevent yourself from crying even though you really want to. These simple actions, such as taking small sips of water and paying attention to your breathing, can help keep tears from flowing freely.

    Make sure you have a way to express any feelings of sadness or grief that may arise as a result of the passing of a loved one, even if you are able to stop the tears from falling.

    These emotions shouldn't be kept hidden inside of you any longer. Attending a funeral requires you to figure out a healthy way to express your feelings, whether you do so in public or in private. This is a significant part of the experience.

    Sometimes You'll Cry Anyway.

    It's okay if you can't always control when you cry; that's part of being human.

    Grief can be healthyly expressed through crying, and there is no better time than a funeral to talk about your feelings of loss and sadness. Because of your vulnerability, the people there will be able to relate to you and may even find some solace in it.

    Consuming water as a means of preventing crying can also assist you in maintaining your hydration levels in the event that you end up crying anyway.

    If you find that crying gives you a headache, try drinking some fluids and getting some rest. You may find that this helps.

    After letting out all of your pent-up emotions and experiencing the benefits of hormones that reduce stress, you will feel significantly better.

    As you progress through the stages of grief, you will find that the intensity of your crying will gradually lessen. If you allow yourself to feel what you're going through right now, you'll put yourself on the road to a speedier recovery.

    Remember that it is okay to lose composure at times. It is better to shed a tear or two than to hold it all back painfully. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always find creative ways to pull costs in line with your budget.

    Other attendees will understand if you are unable to stay composed during the entire funeral.

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