Death - we should learn about it before we experience it. Knowing more about what to expect better equips us for dealing with death. Why do we have funerals? For thousands of years and across all cultures, funerals have been a means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of a loved one.
The funeral ceremony...
- Helps us acknowledge that someone we love has died.
- Allows us the privilege of saying goodbye.
- Provides a social support system for everyone involved.
- Allows us to search for the meaning of life and death.
- Offers continuity and hope for the living.
Meaningful funeral ceremonies are rites of passage. They are a transition from life before the death to life after the death. The funeral provides a safe place-both to express feelings of loss and to embrace the pain. The funeral ritual does more than just acknowledge the death of someone loved: it helps provide mourners with the support of caring people.
Perhaps most importantly, the funeral is a way for mourners to express their grief with others. If this ritual is eliminated, mourners often set themselves up for repressed feelings. Everyone who cares about what has happened is cheated of the chance to pay tribute to someone who was, and always will be, loved.