After the Funeral: How Men and Women Grieve Differently

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The pain that follows the death of a loved one takes its toll on everyone in different ways, and gender plays a role in those differences. In that sense, it can be difficult for friends and family to interpret the emotions and actions displayed by their grieving peers. Here are three ways in which men and women tend to handle grief differently:

Coping with Memories Everyone must cope with memories after a loss, and the main decision is normally how one is going to handle them. Oftentimes, women will immerse themselves in the past, doing whatever they can to keep the memories alive, even if it means delaying their own recovery. This could take the form of anything from keeping pictures of their lost loved one in prominent locations to creating a shrine. Men differ starkly from women in this sense, in that their restoration tends to take priority. They will repress memories, trying to appear stronger and much closer to recovering from their grief than they really are.

Reactions A study by Yale University researchers indicated that men are more likely than women to turn to alcoholism in the wake of a loss. After exposing a group of 27 males and 27 females to emotion-provoking imagery, the researchers found that their male subjects showed emotional responses linked to alcohol cravings. The female subjects, on the other hand, reported greater feelings of sadness and anxiety, which can potentially result in depression or anxiety disorders.

Willingness to Seek Help Women tend to be much more open about their grief after loss, actively seeking out groups and other support networks to which they can vent their feelings. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to keep their mourning private. Rather than joining groups like women, they will keep their grief pent up inside them, sometimes taking up new hobbies and activities to take their mind off the pain.

You can always depend on Chapel of the Chimes to help you handle your recent loss. We offer compassionate, professional end-of-life services to assist you at every step of the way. To set up a consultation, call (866) 475-9407.

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