Funerals can come in many forms.
You can have funerals for burial or cremation. Funerals can be elaborate celebrations. Or, they can be a small and simple ceremony. They can be traditional. Or, they can be unique and highly personalized. A funeral can be whatever a family chooses it to be. But they should have one.
In fact, everyone should have a funeral. Here’s why.
They Help Us Celebrate a Life
As humans, we identify big chapters in our lives with ceremonies. It’s what we do. We celebrate the birth of someone new in our lives with baby showers. We baptize new members into our faith. For birthdays, we celebrate another year older with a party, friends, and families. And we celebrate the union of two families with elaborate wedding celebrations.
And with funerals, we celebrate the life and impact a loved one had on our lives. Every life has a story. Every story deserves to be told. And a funeral is where that happens. A funeral is a chance to celebrate a life and legacy. It’s a chance to show how a person mattered and recognize the impact their life has had on others.
They Help Us Find Meaning
Funerals aren’t only about the deceased. They also are for the living. When we share a life story at a funeral, whether through photos, tribute videos, toasts, or simply chatting about our favorite memories, we find meaning in our loss. A funeral helps open us up to new perspectives and shows us the purpose our loved one had during their time with us.
Memorialization Helps Healthy Healing
There’s a reason we’ve had funeral rituals since the beginning of time. Studies show that funeral rituals are a key part of healthy healing after a loss of a loved one. By honoring our loved one with funeral rituals and memorials, we create special memories of our loved one that we can treasure forever.
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They Bring Us Closer Together
Funerals also allow us to publicly express our grief together. It’s another healthy facet of a funeral. By openly expressing our grief with those around us, we reaffirm the important impact our loved one had not only on our life but on the lives of those around us. A funeral can help us find meaning and purpose in our own lives, and strengthen the relationships with those we hold dear.
Publicly expressing our grief also helps us avoid developing complicated grief, which is long-term grief disorder.
Funerals Help Us With the Transition and Acceptance of Loss
Ultimately, when we take part in funeral rituals, we take the first step toward acceptance of a loss. Funerals mark a healthy transition or shift in our relationship with the deceased. While we will no longer have a physical relationship, we begin to accept a relationship built around our memories with our loved one.