Men and women grieve differently, not because of gender, but because of the masculine/feminine parts of the brain and societal conditioning/stigmas. In all actuality, EVERYONE grieves differently. One’s grief is as unique as the relationship with the loved one.
The masculine part of the brain tends to process grief with action, doing, fixing, like going out and building the temple. Little to no conversation is necessary sometimes.
The feminine part of the brain tends to process grief with nurturing, comforting, connecting, like sitting inside the temple and ‘kumbayah’ing’ with others over a meal, talking, crying, expressing emotion.
Neither one is better than the other and the action makes for good mourning. All men and women have both masculine and feminine parts in their brain. Therefore, a man may feel absolutely comfortable sitting in the knitting circle and expressing emotions just as much as a woman may feel more solace going out to the shed and building a new swing set. Society has prevented individuals from grieving and mourning effectively by conditions, stigmas, and conformity. Our society is ill equipped to assist in the healing process due to rules and roles of what the griever should or shouldn’t do or how to express oneself as well as what the gender should or shouldn’t be allowed to express.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. A griever cannot THINK (brain) grief away. A griever must FEEL (heart) their grief and express it outward by mourning. There is a huge gap between the brain and the heart. Due to an ill-equipped society that tends to focus on THINKING for solutions, a griever is hindered, shunned, even shamed on FEELING towards healing.
Regardless of the gender role, rules and regulations society has placed expectations on others, all individuals have emotions. Through the healthy healing process of both grieving and mourning, a griever can eventually let go of the pain while keeping precious memories.
Love and JOY,
Emotional Wellness & Balance Center