October 18, 2012

Do Women Grieve Differently Than Men?

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HPCG Bereavement Counselor

The differences that exist between women and men may surprise you. While women tend to be relational, reaching out to others to talk about their feelings, men are less comfortable grieving outwardly through words and tears. Families and friends may often struggle to grieve together, without recognizing the different ways men and women cope with the loss of a loved one.

Women feel more comfortable crying openly, and men feel pressure to “be strong” and “hold it together.” Sometimes men experience the feeling of being pulled by others to “let their feelings out” and “grieve” openly. Others may prefer to grieve privately, seeking ways to cope with their grief by not consulting others, while some men prefer to talk about their experience with others.

Although women may prefer an action-oriented approach to grief, men are most comfortable grieving through action by looking at a photograph, making a memorial object or planning an event to commemorate a lost, loved one.