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Men and Grief


Men grieve differently from women. Our cultural roles make it difficult for men to look for support, and harder again to accept it. Men are so often silent, solitary mourners who immerse themselves in activity and private, symbolic rituals. They feel profoundly, but often can't express the depth of their loss.

A man is supposed to be "strong," to support, to cope, and to plan in the aftermath of loss. His own pain must be put away.

Grief doesn't discriminate between gender or culture. Our society has placed clear expectations and requirements upon our roles as men and women. Boys learn quickly what behaviour is considered inappropriate through such statements as, "Stand up and take it like a man." "You're the man of the house," and the insidiously cruel "Big boys don't cry."

Male grief tends to have four main characteristics.

1. Moderated feelings
Men have deep feelings but don't express openly, a more readily available feeling is anger. Men deal with their real feelings by redirecting their energies.

2. Cognitive Experience
Men work more with cognitions explaining their grief or with problem-focussed strategies that help them adapt and protect.

3. Problem-Focussed Activity
Men may adapt to loss by practical hands-on finding solutions to problems associated with the loss.

4. Desire for Solitude
Men don't seek support groups. They want to master their own feelings and also reflect the more practical behaviour involved in adapting to a loss.

Societal Demands on Men
Men are expected to be "in control" of life's demands and have to submit to the following demands society has placed on them. They're expected to :-

remain emotionally and physically strong
always be rational
don't cry or publicly mourn
don't ask for support or affection --- be self-sufficient
remain as non-expressive as possible
provide, not nurture
shake hands, don't hug.

These generalisations continue to hold their power over men in pain. Let's take the old myth about crying. The truth is it takes a truly strong man to be able to cry. Acknowledging that each of us grieve in very different ways can allow men to cope with loss and pain using their own various coping methods. We all grieve despite our gender, race or culture. We grieve because we have loved and, through our journey, we can be healed.

Tears are a gift
Grieving men need to hear that their tears are a gift to help their healing. Men have historically been fobbed off and denied this important gift. We need to open up to how men grieve and start sharing thoughts and feelings in a more meaningful, supportive way.

The realisation that grief can be a constructive, healing process, which can be shared with others, can inspire us all to be intentional in our grief process.

Susanna Duffy is a Civil Celebrant, mythologist and grief counsellor. She is a creator and guide of Rites of Passage for personal ceremonies and civic functions. Website: http://celebrant.yarralink.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Grief - Google News

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When your pet dies: Grief without relief - Lompoc Record


Lompoc Record

When your pet dies: Grief without relief
Lompoc Record
I can't even begin to explain the grief and pain we feel at the loss of this sweet pet. I just wish people would stop saying things such as, 'You can always get another dog.' Yes, we can, but nothing takes the place of a beloved pet. Or 'Time heals all ...

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Holiday grief support helps with loss - Hillsboro Times Gazette


WXII The Triad

Holiday grief support helps with loss
Hillsboro Times Gazette
Finding Hope Through the Holidays is a presentation by the Community Care Hospice bereavement counseling staff that will celebrate and honor lost loved ones, and offer insight into ways to cope with grief during the emotionally charged holiday season.
Grief counselors offer advice for coping with loss during the holidays WXII The Triad

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Ratko Mladic guilty verdict caps decades of grief for families affected by the Srebrenica massacre - ABC Online


ABC Online

Ratko Mladic guilty verdict caps decades of grief for families affected by the Srebrenica massacre
ABC Online
The Bosnian Serb death squads that operated under Mladic's command wiped out her whole family. "All those things he did," she said, "and finally a day came, a second, a minute came that confirmed that it had happened. He was hiding for years, he could ...
Ratko Mladic conviction caps decades of grief over Srebrenica massacre NBCNews.com

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Holiday Grief: Tampa Bay families thankful for final moments with loved ones - WTSP 10 News


WTSP 10 News

Holiday Grief: Tampa Bay families thankful for final moments with loved ones
WTSP 10 News
St.Petersburg, FL - Many of you are probably going to the store to get those last minute things for Thanksgiving. But there are families in the Tampa Bay area dealing with grief during the holiday. Pam Conway has been spending the last two weeks at a ...

Grief support group forming, first meeting is Nov. 30 - The Mountaineer


The Mountaineer

Grief support group forming, first meeting is Nov. 30
The Mountaineer
A grief support group will be offered from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in the Hospitality Room at First United Methodist Church of Canton, 29 Newfound St. This group will offer spiritual care and an emotional outlet for people in the community ...

DIRIGO STORIES: Running through grief, Kennebunk man copes using road races - WGME


DIRIGO STORIES: Running through grief, Kennebunk man copes using road races
WGME
DIRIGO STORIES: Running through grief, Kennebunk man copes using road races. by Jana Barnello. Allyn Genest, 67, set a goal to run 67 road races this year. By the end of November, he will have run in 80 (Courtesy: Allyn Genest). Allyn23.jpg · Allyn25.jpg.

Birmingham's Amelia Center offers free grief counseling services for children and adults - WIAT 42


WIAT 42

Birmingham's Amelia Center offers free grief counseling services for children and adults
WIAT 42
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS42 Community) — The holiday season can be especially difficult if you are grieving the loss of a child, a parent or guardian. Although the center has been around for over 20 years, many do not know about the free grief counseling ...

Dealing with grief, loneliness, and the holidays - Aleteia EN


Aleteia EN

Dealing with grief, loneliness, and the holidays
Aleteia EN
I lost my wife last March and there are two things I have learned for sure: first; each and every one of us experiences grief and loneliness in our own unique way and second; my Catholic faith is my Fortress of Solitude (yes, like Superman). It is my ...

'This Is Us' Star Chrissy Metz Breaks Down Kate's Grieving Process - Variety


Variety

'This Is Us' Star Chrissy Metz Breaks Down Kate's Grieving Process
Variety
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Number Two,” the ninth episode of the second season of “This Is Us.” Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) still hasn't fully processed her grief or the guilt she feels after her father, Jack (Milo ...
This Is Us Miscarriage Episode Showed Tobys Grief - Refinery29 Refinery29
'This Is Us' Breaks Down The Stigma Of Miscarriage HuffPost
Chrissy Metz Opens Up About Her Character's Loss on 'This Is Us' Just Jared
The Tracking Board (press release) (blog)  - Cinema Blend  - Hollywood Reporter  - EW.com
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