Grief is universal. When a loved one dies, many people experience sadness, regret, anger, amongst other emotions. The process of grief often comes with mourning rituals at a funeral parlour with varying customs across different cultures. Although funerals are mostly viewed as grim occasions, they are instrumental in helping you to heal from your grief. They enable you to process your emotions so that you can find say your goodbyes and muster the strength to move on.
Read on find out why funerals are so important and how they help us to process grief.
Bring you face-to-face with the reality of death
It’s normal to avoid the reality of a loss and the pain it brings. But you can only deal with the pain of death effectively by confronting it. That’s why it’s crucial to acknowledge the finality of your loved one’s death. Only when that has sunk in can you embark on your journey to heal from the grief.
Funeral services offer an opportunity to confront the reality that a loved one has passed on. When you view the body and see the casket being cremated or buried, it helps to bring you out from the initial state of denial of your loved one’s death. This brings reality to the fore, so you can begin processing the pain of loss.
Acknowledge the pain
In the coming days after a loved one’s passing, many people get engrossed in the logistics of arranging the funeral services, liaising with funeral directors and other activities. This is often a period of numbness where we are clouded by a list of to-dos to the extent that we don’t have a moment to feel.
However, attending a funeral service often marks the end of the numbing period and the onset of the grieving period. The sight of the casket or listening to eulogies helps reality to set in. It aids us in confronting the loss rather than repressing it or ignoring it. It’s only through acknowledging the pain that you can receive closure from your grief in due time.
Remember the deceased
Part of the grieving process is to shift your relationship with the deceased from a physical presence to one that is present in memory. Funerals are a good way to start this process as it provides you with a space to think and share your memories about your loved one who died.
People often come together to tell their stories about the deceased, either through a eulogy or casual conversations. As you collect these memories of your loved one, you’ll be able to reconcile with your grief.
Support from others
Funerals are social events where many people meet, interact and engage in rituals all with a common purpose – to mourn the deceased and bid them farewell.
In the company of many people who share our feelings, we get the courage to express grief without fear of judgement. Funeral services encourage us not to bottle up our emotions but to release the pain and seek help. It could be through crying or sharing memories. Especially as funerals are a gathering space for mourners, they often offer a “safe space” to reach out for support from others.
After the funeral is over, you will still have moments of sadness. However, memories of the funeral service and other rituals will remain with you, helping you to overcome your grief and heal in time to come.