Two Ways To Help Mourners Deal With Grief At The Funeral

Funerals are designed to help people find comfort and closure after a loved one dies, but many times simply getting through the service can be a difficult challenge. While mourners at the event often console each other, some people need more than just sympathy and kind words. Here are a couple of things you can do to help people deal with their loss at the funeral.

Hire a Therapy Dog

They say dogs are man's best friends, and with good reason. Dogs are fun to be around, offer love unconditionally, and can be of great comfort to people feeling stressed and out of sorts. Because of this, many funeral homes have begun offering therapy dog services where specially trained dogs attend funeral services and help comfort mourners.

Many studies have shown dogs affect humans in positive ways. In fact, the simple act of petting dog cause serotonin and dopamine to surge in the brain, making a person feel calmer and more relaxed. Thus, having a therapy dog present at the funeral for people to interact with may reduce the amount of stress they're feeling and help them cope better with the loss of their loved one, especially children.

Be aware, though, that some people are allergic to dogs. So, be sure to let people know one will be present at the services so they can properly prepare.

Provide Support Services

Another thing you can do is provide a list of support services people can tap into to help them manage their grieving. For instance, there are hotlines mourners can call to talk to counselors about how they're feeling, which is critical for those who may feel they have no one in their social network who is willing or able to listen to their concerns.

In fact, some mental health professionals will actually attend funerals upon request to assist people in their time of need. If you choose this option, be sure there is a place at the funeral or reception where people can talk to the counselor or make phone calls to a support service in private. The surest way to create drama at a funeral is to let attendees overhear sensitive information about the departed or other attendees.

For help putting together a list of support services, finding a counselor or therapy dog to attend the event, or assistance with planning a funeral for a loved one, contact a funeral home director.