Funerals are for the Living

Having served grieving families for over a decade I can attest to the benefits of attending a funeral after the passing of a loved one.

A funeral is the first crucial step in the grieving process, which is why it is often said that a funeral is actually for the living. The funeral provides the setting and opportunity to celebrate a life that has been lived.

When a loved one dies, it is always a difficult time. It is often hard to know just what to say, how to begin to deal with your loss, or how to say good-bye. The funeral service is a way to bring caring people together — to lend support and to help each other through this process. It allows mourners to express their grief and to share it with each other.

Another benefit of a funeral is that it stimulates conversation about the decedent, which is an important step toward accepting the death. Without this opportunity, many people experience much more difficulty resolving their grief. Yet, the reality of death needs to be accepted on an intellectual basis and an emotional level as well.

There are literally dozens of details that must be considered in order to plan an appropriate funeral. Thinking through all of these details and coordinating the service are all tasks that become very difficult in a time of crisis. Fortunately, professional funeral counselors are able to help families deal with these aspects of a loved one’s death. As a funeral counselor, on a daily basis I serve as an advisor, a supporter and a friend.

Funeral counselors meet with the family to discuss their wishes, assure compliance with laws and arrange the observance of the customs that the family desires. Funeral counselors are also trained to answer questions about coping with death. We recognize when a person is having difficulty accepting his or her loss, and can recommend professional resources for those who may need it.

While a funeral can be a very difficult event, it is most often necessary and beneficial for the grieving process. Beginning the grieving process with friends and family present will allow you to share your feelings while surrounded with the comfort of those you love and trust.