Why have a funeral?
Working as a Celebrant and also as a facilitator of bereavement groups, I have come to understand more deeply the significance of a funeral ceremony.
To those left grieving the funeral may offer a focal point to say a final goodbye and it may also mark the beginning of the healing and adjustment process that inevitably follows the death of someone you love.
We may have had a strong connection with the person that has died or we may have been more distanced, but the funeral ceremony offers a place of completion for that relationship and a chance to have the opportunity to replicate your last farewell, especially if you feel this is something you have missed.
Often when someone dies, there are feelings of being left incomplete – like we have missed something out and again a funeral ceremony, or time allocated to say ‘goodbye’ can be supportive in starting a form of closure that enables a point of commencement for the next phase of the grieving process.
Although having said this, grief is a very personal experience and whilst there are commonalities within how each person may feel, our experiences may differ greatly from another’s. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to the experience of grief.
In the past funerals were deemed to be sombre occasions and whilst they remain a very sad day in anyone’s life, they can also offer a great time for reflection of a life well lived, with the funeral ceremony focusing on the appreciation of that life and in remembrance of all the persons qualities (and also those familiar things that maybe weren’t so loveable too!!)
I strongly feel that a funeral can be offered as a celebration and appreciation of life and no matter how long or short that life has been, there is in almost all cases, a reflection of love that has been shared that requires honouring, appreciating and most certainly deserves celebrating.
Whilst the topic of funerals may continue to be something that we prefer to avoid, it is my experience that within them, a time of great healing is offered, as amongst the tears there can also be laughter, with a remembrance of the joy that has been shared.
What better way is there to remember someone than with a smile, whilst feeling the reassurance that the foundation and essence of love you have shared, still remains very much alive in your heart.