Why funeral services are so important after losing a loved one

December 29, 2014

A funeral isn’t just a service to pay our respects and celebrate the life of the deceased. It helps survivors to face the reality of the death of their loved one. This expression of grief helps them to heal and cope. It’s also a time for friends and relatives to express their love and respect for the person who has departed. This is often a tremendous help to the family.

Why funeral services are so important after losing a loved one

How long have funerals been a tradition?

The funeral service has been a means of expressing beliefs and feelings about death for thousands of years, a ritual held in the highest regard by society. Rituals help us to express our deepest thoughts and emotions about life’s most important events. Just as we use birthday parties to honour the passing of another year, funerals honour the life and passing of the deceased.

How does a funeral ceremony help us with our grief?

The funeral service provides support and comfort for those who are left behind in several ways, because it helps us to acknowledge that a loved one has died, gives us an opportunity to say goodbye, creates a support system for grieving survivors, gives us time to reflect on the meaning of both life and death, and also provides hope for the living.

The six needs of mourning

Grief is a very personal emotion and everyone experiences the journey in their own, unique way. Despite that, there are several reconciliations we must all go through on the road to healing.

  1. Acknowledge the reality of the loss:Mourners often know something in their heads but not in their hearts. It can take a short or long period of time to accept the loss.
  2. Embrace the pain of the loss:Trying to avoid or deny the pain of loss is common, but it’s important to confront the loss in order to reconcile it. While you encounter the pain of this loss, remember to comfort yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  3. Remember the person who’s gone:This lets them stay present in your memories. Actively display your memory through stories and pictures and visiting special places that remind you of your loved one.
  4. Develop a new self-identity:Part of who you are was formed through your relationship with the person who has died. You may have been their spouse, parent, child or dear friend. When they pass, you naturally change the way you see yourself. It’s important to re-anchor yourself and reconstruct your self identity. With time, you may develop a renewed confidence in yourself as you adapt to the change.
  5. Search for meaning: It’s natural to question the meaning and purpose of life when you lose a loved one. Questions as to why and how it happened will surface uncontrollably. Death reminds us of our lack of control and can leave us feeling powerless. It’s normal to doubt and question your faith.
  6. Receive ongoing support from others:This is your time of need and you will need the love and understanding of others to help you heal. There is no shame in your dependence. Feel comforted knowing that others truly care about you and want to help you through these trying times.
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