THE VALUES OF FUNERALS
Many people today question the value of traditional funeral.
There are those who say they see no need for family or friends to view them
or to have a funeral following their death. They say that viewing the deceased
and attending a funeral can be upsetting. Many people who feel this way are
saying so because they dont want their death to cause any hardship or
pain for their family or friends. It is important to recognize that funerals
are for the living
for those who have suffered the trauma of losing someone
they love. It is through the funeral process that a number of emotional needs
are met. The funeral declares that a death has occurred, commemorates the life
that has been lived, and offers family and friends the opportunity to pay tribute
to someone they love. Expedience, or moving too quickly, is not always the best
in dealing with the death of someone you love.
Many people have seen someone approach a casket and begin to cry when they look
at the deceased. At that moment, the idea of viewing a deceased person may seem
like a bad thing. Why should the family endure the pain associated with seeing
someone they love laid out in a casket? Would it be easier to bury
or cremate the deceased after death occurs, without a viewing or ceremony?
Many mental health professionals say that by viewing the deceased, and feeling
all of the emotions associated with doing so, is very healthy emotionally. When
someone we love dies, we have grief that we must work through. Viewing the deceased
is a very healthy way to work through some of the grief associated with a death.
There can be a tremendous amount of relief when the deceased looks so much
better than they did during a long and difficult illness. This is often much
more desirable for long time remembrance than the last time a critically ill
person was seen.
The visitation serves many different people involved in funeral. It gives the
family a time to view the deceased in a less formal setting than a funeral ceremony.
It allows friends the opportunity to visit with the family and show their support.
Usually the visitation is on the day before the funeral, in the afternoon or
evening or both. Many times the people who want to pay their respects and show
their support to the family of the deceased, work and cannot attend a funeral
ceremony during the day. The visitation allows more people to participate in
the funeral experience.
The funeral ceremony is a formal way of saying good-bye. Consumer research and
grief experts suggest meaningful ceremonies provide closure. But most importantly
the funeral is a vital part of the process that allows the bereaved to adjust
to an abruptly altered life.