This is a phrase that’s heard all too often these days. Many people believe that having a funeral will be a burden on those left behind, a sad event that everybody feels they ‘have’ to attend. The truth however is a far cry from this modern belief. Human beings have been honoring the dead for thousands of years in many different ways and the downturn of this in recent years is now manifesting itself in negative ways. Ways that are affecting people’s ability to complete the ‘grief journey’.
What is a grief journey?
The death of someone close to us results in an inevitable journey we must all experience called “grief”. It will be very different for each of us but regrettably, there is no way to avoid it. Dr Alan D. Wolfelt phD – respected author and educator on the topic of grief has created ‘The hierarchy of the purpose of funerals’. Let’s take a look at what that means. We’ll begin at the bottom and work our way up.
- Reality – Funerals help us to begin to truly acknowledge the reality that someone in our life has died.
- Recall – Funerals encourage us to remember the person who died and share our unique memories with others, creating hope for the future.
- Support – Funerals bring together people who care about each other in an atmosphere of love and support.
- Expression – Funerals allow us to express our inner thoughts and feelings about life and death.
- Meaning – Funerals mark the significance of the life that was lived. They also help us find meaning and purpose in our continued living, even in the face of loss.
- Transcendence – Ultimately, funerals help us to embrace the wonder of life and death.
But I don’t want a fuss
There are so many ways to celebrate the life of a loved one. A funeral does not need to be traditional, religious, public or ‘fussy’. What is important is to find the appropriate level of comfort and create something that feels right.
OK so how do I make sure I get what I want?
Well it means you will have to have one of ‘those’ conversations, the kind that are hard to start. Talking about it doesn’t have to be morbid though, after all, you’ll be discussing the things you love most and how best your family and friends can reflect on them when honoring your life. Remember – funerals are held for the living because they are the ones who need to move forward in their grief.
Learn more here: Free Pre-Planning guide