March is Women’s History Month; Uplifted Care thought it would be a good time to look at women and grief. The Uplifted Grief Center offers individual counseling, groups and workshops to assist women (and men) in navigating their grief journeys. It is a fact that women and men tend to handle grief differently.

There is a difference in the brain structures of men and women.  This difference means that women have a need to communicate their emotional experiences, whereas, men generally discuss their experiences through a cognitive process rather than an emotional one. Historically, men are seen as protectors and see their role as needing to protect their loved ones from pain. This can lead to men ignoring their own pain. Men are often taught as boys not to cry; women tend to cry more easily and, therefore, have an acceptable outlet for the pain of grief. Women may even feel that the man in their life is not grieving enough for the loved one; this can cause misunderstandings and problems in dealing with a death in the family. There are always exceptions to the rule; this may not be true in every case.

How Women Grieve Differently:

  1. Women tend to be very open and honest with their feelings.

As women, we feel a strong need to be heard and to feel supported. Our sadness comes out through tears, expression of feelings and telling our story. There is less of a taboo for women to cry and express their inner most feelings than for men. That being said, if a woman does not deal with her grief and have the opportunity to get her feelings out; it is quite possible that she can end up physically ill (stomach aches, headaches, stress and many other issues). Telling her story helps a woman to understand her grief emotions, process her feelings and feel heard. This is why talking with a grief counselor and attending a group can be so helpful. The more we share our story, the more we normalize our situation.

  1. Women tend to seek support for their emotions outside the home.

Women often need to seek support outside of their home as others in the home may not be willing to talk about the deceased loved one and may even express frustration at hearing about the loss. It is helpful to seek assistance through friends, family and professionals who are better equipped to help us. Speaking with a trained grief counselor offers us the opportunity to have an impartial listener without worry of judgement or causing issues in our home life.

  1. Women tend to do well in a group setting with others who have shared similar experiences.

Women tend to do well in a group with other women who have gone through similar situations and can encourage, understand and support our grief. Grief should never cause shame, embarrassment, or the feeling that we are crazy. If you are experiencing these feelings, we would encourage you to reach out to other people or our Grief Center to talk with someone who is equipped to help you through your grief.

It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve regardless of gender, race, culture or age. Everyone’s grief journey is unique and there is no shame in seeking help to navigate this very difficult and emotional time.

For more information on all the services offered at the UpliftedCare Community Grief Center, please check out our full list of services and calendar of events. (Link)

Blog author: Diane Ruhbeck, Licensed Grief Counselor

My name is Diane Ruhbeck. I have been a Grief Counselor with Uplifted Care since 2022. I spent 15 years working as a Hospice Social Worker prior to coming to Uplifted Care. I have a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Social Work from Governors State University and am a licensed Social Worker. I became a Social Worker because I have a passion for helping others. My hobbies are spending time with family, reading, and travel. I love that I am able to make a difference in people’s lives. I truly feel honored to be a part of someone’s grief journey and knowing that they can leave here feeling better about going forward in their life!