site image

Why Are Funerals Considered Healing?

Published: September 9, 2022

To be sure, funerals and memorial services remember loved ones, honoring their lives. But that is only a part of the purpose of a funeral. Mourners need an opportunity to visit the family, perhaps view the body or casket, and gather with others who share their loss.

Yet, some people say they don’t want a funeral service. They don’t want to be a burden on their families, either for planning the memorial or paying for it. They might think they are doing their survivors a favor, but they are not. Funerals are for the living, the survivors who are mourning.

Dr. Alan Wolfelt is a nationally recognized expert on grief. He notes that beyond just being a ritual, a funeral plays several significant roles in helping survivors grieve and move forward. He notes benefits to the gathering.

* Attending services, perhaps viewing the body, the casket, or an urn with ashes, affirms that the death is real.

* We have a chance to talk about our grief, beginning to accept our loss and pain.

* We can share our memories and remember who our loved one was and how they made a difference in our lives and our world.

* Services provide a supportive place to share religious values and rituals.

* Funerals are important social gatherings, with memories, tears, and yes, laughter.

* We begin to understand who we are without our loved one beside us.

     The funeral or memorial service is a treasured opportunity to meet with old friends, perhaps family members we don’t see often, and to connect with people in our loved one’s life we might never have met before. We hear stories that are family lore, but we also hear new and sometimes surprising anecdotes that shed a new light on them. Emotions flow, and certainly tears. But, except in the most tragic circumstances, there are warm reminiscences humor, even joy in the life you are honoring. In short, funerals begin the healthy resolution of grief.

     Do funerals bring closure? No, they initiate the grief journey with other mourners to share the pain. They are the first step on your journey to rebuild your altered life. The pandemic wrought havoc with these important rituals, cheating us of handshakes, hugs, shared meals, and just being together in our grief.

Reach out to the professionals at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory for reassurance that the funeral you are planning will fulfill these vital needs. Thanks for reading our blog. You can reach out to us, Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory anytime at 1-309-786-5421.