Since the beginning of the human race, different cultures and civilisations have committed to honouring and caring for the deceased, beginning with a type of ceremony or funeral service.
There is a reason this tradition has continued over the years, and it’s about so much more than honouring a life.
However, in the last decade, there has been a growing trend of families and loved ones moving in a different direction, the negative effects of which are coming to the fore in the weeks, months and years following.
Grief is a complex, albeit natural response to loss, and it’s a process that we need to explore and acknowledge in order to move on. We need to mourn in order to heal and there is no better place to begin your healing than saying goodbye to loved ones at their funeral service.
Funerals are an important rite of passage in our journey of life, not just for the people we are saying goodbye to, but for those of us who are left behind. It is the only chance we get to officially say goodbye to someone who has played a big role in our lives. It’s an open acknowledgement of passing, a celebration of life, a chance to mourn together but also the first step in the healing process.
For those who have chosen to forego the funeral for a loved one – for whatever reason – it’s often found that they can struggle to move on. Feelings of regret, guilt and loss are common – regret over not holding a funeral ceremony, guilt over not farewelling the person who has passed in an official capacity and loss of the opportunity to say goodbye.
Although we are all different and there isn’t a universal way of grieving, the fact that funerals have been used for centuries to honour those passed and aid those living, should not be overlooked.
And like everything else in life, funerals have changed and adapted over the years and can be tailored to reflect the individual. They don’t have to be sombre, nor do they need to be fun, they can be exactly what you and your loved ones want them to be and lay the foundations of healing in the process.
Cry, laugh, dance, sing, talk, reminisce, but don’t regret not taking the opportunity to say goodbye with a funeral service.