Funerals Bring People Together
For some, the death of a loved one is the first opportunity in a long time for a gathering of family and friends to occur. Everyone has come together with a unifying purpose of remembering the life lived. However, it’s also an appropriate time to reconnect with people you may have lost contact with. Time and distance can sometimes make people feel estranged, but gathering at a funeral can make the attendees feel connected and engaged in each other’s lives. If there has been bad blood in the past, gathering for the ceremony can provide space for healing and honesty. Mourners can offer a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or simply an opportunity to support one another. If you need comfort or help, funerals can offer reassurance for those who have come together for each other.
Funerals Allow for Reflection
Grieving the loss of someone close to you may often bring up thoughts, feelings, and questions that people might generally try to avoid. “What is the meaning of life?” “What happens after we pass away?” “What will my own funeral be like?” If these questions seem scary, that’s okay and very normal. Death can be a difficult thing to process. Funerals often allow grieving people to reflect on these big thoughts, perhaps shining light on behaviors or beliefs that we didn’t know we held. Funerals can also be the starting point for personal change and accountability. Perhaps you have an unhealthy habit that you’ve been unable to kick, or maybe you’ve been meaning to tell someone how you feel about them, but haven’t been able to drum up the courage to do so. When we look back at our own lives, as we inevitably do when someone close to us passes on, we allow ourselves to grow.
Funerals Let Us Celebrate Life
While it may seem counterintuitive, having a ceremony for the dead allows the living to celebrate life. Gathering with loved ones gives those in attendance the opportunity to remember the good times shared with the departed. Telling stories that make you laugh or cry pays homage to the deceased. You might even learn something about them that you didn’t previously know, deepening your relationship with this person even as they are no longer with you. You might be inspired to donate to a charity or cause that the deceased loved. Perhaps you’ll be moved to start a foundation in their honor. Any celebration of a legacy and life lived is fitting.
Funerals Help Provide Closure
Losing someone close to you, whether their death was sudden or expected, can be an uncertain experience. Even if you think you feel prepared, the reality of someone no longer living can move us deeply. Funerals are often thought of as ceremonies that provide closure for those in attendance. Going through the rites of passage to honor moving from this existence into the next allows people to better comprehend the death of their loved one. Many people feel that attending a funeral is like putting a period at the end of a sentence. Once they begin to accept that their loved one is no longer living, they can also begin to heal and move forward.
Funerals Allow Us to Move Forward
Once the funeral has come to an end, the rest of your life is ahead of you. There is no time limit on grieving and no proper way to do so. Sometimes you can only know what your journey through grief will look like as you embark on it. Funerals are one part of saying goodbye to those we have lost and continue to love. Once your goodbyes have been said, you will step forward into the next phase of your process. Take your time. Be gentle with yourself. Breathe. Ask others for help when you need it. Check in with friends and family. Remember the good times you had, and always look to the future with presence of mind.
Thank you for taking the time to read our thoughts on why funerals are important for healing. We hope that these words will be of help to you as you move into the next chapter of your life.
We want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family to celebrate the memory of a life lived. If you have any questions about our cemetery, funeral home or cremation services, please contact us.
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Read more: How to Help Someone Who Is Grieving
Read more: How to Explain Death to a Child