People often undermine the importance of funeral services, especially when opting for cremations. Direct cremations, in particular, are quite popular as they are cost effective. Basically, they do not involve viewing, embalming, or other similar preparations.
On the downside though, it robs the deceased’s friends and relatives of the chance to say a final good-bye to the loved one.
Certain crematoriums, nonetheless, allow witnessing services wherein the relatives and representatives of departed loved one can witness the cremation process.
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love.”
– Washington Irving
Funerals usually involve aspects like viewing or visitation, formal funeral service, and burial service. Though these ceremonies are synonymous with traditional burial, you can still arrange these events in a funeral service when opting for cremation. After all, cremation is not a substitute for funeral.
If a funeral service is not feasible then you can have a memorial service with or without the ashes after having performed the cremation. Funeral arrangements and ceremonies tend to differ from one culture to another.
Plus, religious beliefs about death and afterlife influence the last rites. Looking from a broader perspective though, all these rituals and ceremonies help the relatives and friends of the deceased show their grief and eventually get over the loss of a loved one.
Depending on different religions, funeral services encourage the departed loved one to ask God for forgiveness, or prepare the soul for the next life.
Furthermore, funeral ceremonies are meant to honor and celebrate the life of the deceased by sharing memories. The fact that their loved one was loved and appreciated by the society also gives a sense of comfort and support.
In addition, as a funeral is a gathering of friends and family after the death of an individual, it allows friends and acquaintances to console the bereaved relatives. Thus, funerals contribute positively in the grieving process and serve as a means to provide closure after the loss.
The process gives you time for mourning and letting go of the intense emotions so that you can finally accept the reality of death. Moreover, you can visit your loved one’s final resting place in the future.
It is important to make the bereaved family members accept death in a healthy way without inducing any sort of fear or inhibition.
Those who do not accept death as a natural part of life often are likely to face problems. The fear of the unknown does not help them lead a truly enriched life.
Understanding death as the final stage of life though is an extremely difficult task and hence, most people take to the easy path of denial.
Funerals also have a deep spiritual and philosophical significance as they help the living entities realize the importance of life against all the materialism in the world, thereby bringing a sense of detachment.
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”
– Saint Augustine