It is well documented by grief professionals that funerals are an essential part of the healing and recovery process.
When a loved one dies, we often see that people want to get on with
funeral planning as quickly as possible; they want closure and think that the pain will go away once the funeral has been held. It is true that funerals can be emotionally difficult, but a good funeral will provide the opportunity to share memories, gather support and put loved ones on the path to recovery.
Not only do funerals celebrate the life of your loved one, it is the coming together of families and friends that makes the difference. This
specifically created support network is a source of comfort and strength, both during the funeral and immediately afterwards.
Although families may be hesitant to choose a funeral service that means coming together, we often find it is exactly from this which people benefit most. The funeral ceremony helps to publicly acknowledge the reality of the death and when shared with friends and family it encourages the expression of grief. This experience actually helps to begin a healthy mourning process.
Benefits of a funeral
Rituals are symbolic activities that help us, together with our families and friends, express our deepest thoughts and feelings about life’s most important events. Baptism celebrates the birth of a child and that child’s acceptance into the church family. Birthday parties honour the passing of another year in the life of someone we love. Weddings publicly affirm the private love shared by two people.
The funeral ritual, too, is a public, traditional and symbolic means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of someone loved. Rich in history and rife with symbolism, the funeral ceremony helps us acknowledge the reality of the death, gives testimony to the life of the deceased, encourages the expression of grief in a way consistent with the culture’s values, provides support to mourners, allows for the embracing of faith and beliefs about life and death, and offers continuity and hope for the living.