In past years, funerals were considered a necessity. Very few people chose not to have one, and, in fact, it was considered a sort of heresy to forgo one. In recent years, more people have either had only a graveside service or a memorial service for their loved ones instead of an actual funeral. Some people have left instructions that they wanted no service at all. Although funerals may be considered passe by some, they still have value.
A funeral has the healing power of ritual, something that people today may not find as important as previous generations did. The funeral is obviously for those left behind, and the ceremony of it celebrates the deceased's life. Prayers, hymns, and a sermon lend importance to the occasion, and the end of a person's life should be met with seriousness and remembrance.
Most funerals include a visitation the night or day before the funeral. Both occasions offer friends and family a chance to gain closure, and they also provide support to the main mourners. When you lose a loved one, the grief can be overwhelming. Sharing this grief with others lessens the load and gives you support when you most need it. Reminiscing with Aunt Jane at your mother's service can be quite comforting.
A study showed that people who had a traditional funeral for their loved ones adjusted better to the death afterward. Those who passed on part or all of the ritual had higher levels of anger and consumed more alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain. They also reported more anxiety and had fewer good memories of the deceased. Experts think that trying to speed through the mourning process by "getting it over with" is counterproductive. The death will actually hurt more instead of less. Funerals are therapy in addition to being ceremonial.
Even traditional funerals can be adapted to fit your personal preferences. Ceremonies should reflect the wishes of the deceased and the immediate family. Skipping part or all of the formal mourning process is a mistake, however. You will miss out on the benefits of ritual and friendly support. You will also be cheating yourself of the long-term emotional benefits that a funeral provides. The funeral does not have to be elaborate or expensive to be helpful. Before you make a decision about what to do when someone dies, consider the benefits of a funeral. For more information, contact companies like Parsippany Funeral Home Inc.Share