Death has never been easy on anybody. The loss of a loved one is always devastating in whatever circumstances. Those who were left behind need to mourn either privately or with others. That is why there is a need for a funeral service. This is the time to honor the loved one who passed away. This also serves as the first step towards the healing of those left behind.
A funeral is the ceremony dedicated for the deceased. Today, there are many variations to it. There are different kinds of burials: traditional, graveside, and immediate burial. With the exception of immediate burial, both traditional and graveside burials can have a memorial service tailored to fit the request of the family. Some families choose not to have a memorial service. But there are some who were not even able to witness when the loved one was buried because of tragic circumstances, but still chose to have a service in honor of the deceased.
Why the need for a funeral service? Is it just a need to socialize and be able to push through a ritual? Who is it for, for the one who died or for those who were left behind?
Confirms the certainty of death. It helps the members of the family to go through their grief. It can also be said to be therapeutic. Making arrangements for the memorial service compels them to make decisions and communicate with others. The service leads people to reality that the loss really occurred. In this way, it can be said that it is a first to acceptance of the loss of a loved one.
Gives the mourners a time to grieve. There is a deep need for people to express their grief. Coupled with this is the need to have others listen and to be comforted by kind words. Mourners are encouraged by this ceremony to accept their loss. During the service, mourners feel that it is safe to express their feelings and their thoughts. In this way, those left behind are given the chance to cope with their loss. This is also a step towards moving forward.
Lets people share their sadness. Carrying one another’s burdens will certainly make other people’s burden lighter. With other people around to offer sympathy and express words of sadness makes way for shared sorrow. Somehow, grief becomes lighter.
Becomes the time when family and friends come together as a group. The interment serves as the official place where mourners gather to offer condolences and sympathies. The community is also able to pay their last respects. Many times, this period that created a deep wound also serves as the time when severed relationships are restored.
Affirms the mourners’ faith. When going through a tough time like the death of a loved one, sometimes the faith of those left behind are shaken. With a memorial service, family and friends are given confirmation of their religious beliefs. Most people derive great solace from words of encouragement from their spiritual beliefs. Church rites offer comfort and peace.
Serves as the occasion that brings acceptance of the loss and celebrates a life lived. The reading of poems or lines of religious nature bring solace to the bereaved. There might even be speeches with anecdotes, all in honor of the one who passed away. There are eulogies by members of the family. Music and other things that hold special meaning to the family are also added into the service. All of these bring the family into acceptance of the death. It is also a way to celebrate how the life of the deceased was lived.
Whatever type of funeral service the family may decide on does not really matter. What is important is that it offers closure for everyone. It also gives hope for the ones left behind as they accept the continuity of life.