Funerals fill an important role for those mourning the loss of a loved one. By providing surviving family and friends with an atmosphere of care and support in which to share thoughts and feelings about death, funerals are the first step in the healing process. It is the traditional way to recognize the finality of death. Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show their respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grieving process.
You can have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. Planning a personalized ceremony or service will help begin the healing process. Overcoming the pain is never easy, but a meaningful funeral or tribute will help.
Please consider the following benefits before making any final decisions regarding funeral and memorial services:
1). Experiencing the Ritual
Taking part in a formal funeral ceremony often serves as an important rite of passage with both cultural and religious significance. It is seen as an important milestone and grow ing experience on our way to adulthood in that it marks the time in our lives when we must face and cope with the reality of death. It also allows us to fulfill our cultural and religious obligations, not only to the deceased, but to our family and community as well.
2). Reconnecting with Friends and Family
Funerals, memorial services, and wakes bring loved ones together. Our close family members and friends, as well as those we may not have seen in a while, come to us in our time of need to lend their support. In fact, they form our support system—offering us their counsel and loving touch. It is with them that we are able to share stories and fond re membrances of the departed—painting a greater and more beautiful picture of his or her life and the impact they have had on others.
3). Beginning the Healing Process
Funerals give us the chance to begin the healing process. Rather than keeping our intense feelings bottled up, we are able to grieve openly in a safe and supportive environment where the shedding or expressing of such emotions is encouraged and appropriate. With the help of friends and family, we are given the opportunity to ease our emo tional burdens and the time to sort out our complex feelings—feelings that, if suppressed, can have a harmful future effect on us as well as those around us.
4). Honoring Their Memory
A funeral provides for the dignified and respectful care of the deceased. The event itself is our way of paying special tribute to the life of a loved one and the posi tive influence they have had over our lives. Holding the service allows us to feel that we have done the right and honorable thing for them. It is also our chance to remember and honor them our way, not only in the man ner in which they would have liked, but in a manner that is important to us.
5). Saying Goodbye
Having a funeral allows us to feel a sense of closure. It is the time and place for us to say our last goodbyes. It gives us the chance to tell our loved one the things we did not or felt we could not say during their lifetime. And it is the grand occasion on which to express publicly how much we loved them and how dearly they will be missed. Simply put, the funeral is a way for us to say our peace and move on with our lives.