Tag Archive | Empathy

The Path of the Empath ~ Vol. 3

This post is intended for those that are in relationship with Empaths.  Being in a relationship with an empathic person will require you to understand a few things about why Empaths do the things they do.

“Empaths and funerals.”

Do not be surprised if an Empath is resistant to attending a funeral or memorial service.  The overwhelming energy of the mourners might prove to be more than an Empath can take.  Of course, many Empaths have learned, over time, how to deal with their emotions, and therefore can and do attend funerals when called to do so.  However, it’s not always an easy task for an Empath to prepare for a funeral, even if s/he says that they are “alright with” going to the event.

To prepare for a funeral or other emotional event, the Empath might spend time focusing or grounding themselves.  This may include putting up emotional walls or seeking solitude in the time preceding and following the event.

Following the service, some time for “decompression” might be in order.

Please don’t misunderstand.  Funerals and the likes are seldom easy for ANYONE.  I am not attempting to say that Empaths deserve better treatment than others.  I am however, simply attempting to shed some light on what might be going on behind the scenes if you ever find yourself attending a potentially emotional event with an empathic person, or if you, yourself, are one and have never been able to put your finger on why you might be feeling the way you do.  

I was prompted to write this after I recently attended the viewing/visitation of a friend of my husband’s family.  I had never met the man and felt particularly awkward around his bereaved friends and family. While that’s probably to be expected – that awkward feeling of being around emotionally vulnerable strangers – I was feeling something else that I was having a hard to time coming to terms with.  The unbearable urge to crack a joke was welling up inside of me, as that’s what I tend to do at moments of emotional instability.  I knew that wouldn’t be entirely appropriate as I did NOT know any of the people in attendance, aside from my husband’s family. I felt scattered and almost dizzy, as I sat there quietly, wishing I could just fade into the walls.

My husband invited me up to view the departed man in his casket and I had to politely decline.  It was then, that I knew what was eating at me.

I didn’t know this man.  I didn’t know his family or friends.  But they were missing him.  Their tears stung my heart and I knew if I saw him, my body would start weeping with them.  This might not be easily accepted by these people who had never laid eyes on me in their lives – this strange woman, who didn’t even know the deceased, standing there, crying.  It could have been interpreted as inappropriate, or even as an attention-seeking ploy.  It may have been okay if I had been surrounded by other Empaths, but this group of people was a conservative group, where there is tradition and ritual ever-present at these types of events.  I have never been one to force my beliefs or my more liberal way of life on others, and a visitation is not the time nor place for that sort of behavior, anyway.   It was not the right time for a lesson on Empaths – we were there to pay respects to a man who no longer occupies a physical body.

My crying and grieving with others goes back as far as I can remember.  Tears and grief are contagious to me.  And letting my guard down to let those tears spill when it’s someone I actually know, is socially acceptable.  To someone I don’t, though – it might be damaging, and I refuse to cause the grieving more grief.

It was best for me, at this viewing, to simply sit quietly, with my wall up, hoping others would just think that I was shy around all of these strangers, rather than on the brink of awkwardly shedding tears for someone whom I had never met.

If you or someone you know and love is an Empath, the walls they put up are not just to protect themselves, they are also to protect others.  Many times when a person puts up a wall, particularly when this person is an Empath, they shouldn’t be urged to immediately take down that wall.  With lots of love and support from those around them, the Empath will take the walls down when they feel emotionally safe enough to do so.

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