What is the Purpose of a Funeral?

By: Kate Nypaver
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

When someone you love dies, it might seem easier to skip the services and pretend it didn’t happen. But passing up on a funeral service can be very detrimental towards the healing process. Here a few ways funerals prove their importance:  

1. A funeral tells the public that a death has occurred. This is very important for other relatives and friends who cared for the deceased, and gives them a place to come and mourn the loss. An obituary can also serve as a notice to others, but it’s important to give them a chance to come together as a community. Funerals have a way of bringing people back together.

2. A funeral provides a specific place to mourn and grieve. Something as emotional as grief deserves a place for it to be expressed. At a funeral, it is natural and expected for people to be crying, woeful, and outwardly emotional. It also offers an appropriate place for people to express their condolences and remember the deceased. And of course, it provides a space for the whole community without having to bring it into your home, should you use a funeral home, church, or other facility.

3. A funeral begins a new life for survivors. In other words, a funeral announces that this person has died and everyone else’s life will be changed, some more than others. It begins a new life without the physical presence of the deceased. This may not seem crucial, but the event of a funeral helps indicate that one less person will be around, and that it is natural and okay.

4. A funeral brings closure. When someone has died, it seems hard to believe that they are actually gone from this earth. A funeral helps dissolve any denial by ceremonially announcing the passing of the deceased. Nothing can be disputed there, as the funeral stands as a symbol of their death and life.

5.  A funeral provides a place for love and support. Some families prefer to have private services or no services at all, but it is encouraged to at least have some sort of funeral or visitation. Inviting others to come and support you with nothing expected in return is a wonderful thing during such an emotional time. And support from others can provide the courage and strength needed to get through the day’s difficult events.

Skipping the option to have a funeral service can impede the healing process. Closure will be harder to come by, therefore slowing down or stalling the stages of grief. Denial may become more frequent and make daily living more of a struggle without your loved one around. Further, others’ needs may not be met if they don’t get a chance to offer their final goodbyes at a visitation or funeral. So always weigh your options when faced with the decision to make funeral arrangements. 

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