Funerals have often been depicted by the media and people in general in a less than favorable light. Some journalists who may write about death and funerals tend to focus on the macabre of death, costs rather than the value it provides to the grieving family. Looking at a funeral with this type of perspective may not provide the value that the final goodbye ceremony can have on the grieving family.
It can lead people to believe that the whole business of "funeralization", as it commonly known in the profession, has little worth beyond the final bill that must be paid. This is misleading because funeralization goes far beyond the profit or dollars to those who are in the death care industry and provide services and goods. Many professionals who service this area are heartfelt in what they do and some are feel a sense of calling to serve the bereaved.
Funeral services are most importantly held for the surviving family members. It provides many different things like celebrating the life of a loved one, confirming the reality and finality of death, enable family and friends to pay their respect, as well as provide an climate and atmosphere for mourning and expression of grief. It can also help the family in need by encouraging people to give love without expecting something back in return. Supporting the family members can be a great source of comfort for them during a time of loss. Even if you don't have anything to say except "i'm sorry", your mere presence can send warm feelings of gratitude.
Confirming Death's Reality
Because death is categorized as an unknown, many respond with fear and as a result, end up in denial or avoidance regarding the death. The very act of funeralization forces people to face the reality of death. The reality of death is the process of closure and by making funeral arrangements it reinforces that their loved one has in fact, died. Something that doesn't always come easy to a surviving spouse. Through the process of funeral planning and preparation of their loved one, one can help come closer to the griefing process. Viewing the body can be a painful part of the funeralization of funeral process but it is an important part of healing and closure. Mourning can commence and grief can begin which is a natural part of losing a loved one.
Paying Respects By The Community
Funeral attendance by the community, friends, and extended family member can bring a sense of communal sharing, caring, and mourning. The presence without words can convey support and condolences to the surviving family who is currently carrying the heavy burden of a loved one's death. Funerals bring out an unconditional type of love in people. Often these acts of love and sympathy are conveyed by sending flowers, making donations on behalf of the deceased, or bringing cooked meals to the immediate family. It is a silent way of letting the family know someone cares and I'll be there for you.
Faith and Celebrating A Life Lived
No matter what the religious affiliation is of the deceased, faith always plays an integral part in the process. Some religions may have their own type of ceremony order or agenda but there is still room for the family to request certain elements they want included in a service. If the loved one was part of a certain religious sect, the church members can be a source of comfort and help for the immediate family. Even if the deceased was not affiliated with any church, non-religious or secular services can be officiated by a friend or family member.