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Why do Funerals Matter?

The YourLoss team is dedicated to sourcing and providing Australians with free and easy access to relevant and helping information and resources to assist them in all areas of death and bereavement.

Funerals are rituals observed across many countries and cultures. They are a public, traditional and symbolic means of expressing our thoughts and feelings about the death of someone important to us. Funerals help us acknowledge the reality of death, express our grief, and mutually support those around us. 

When we experience the death of someone we love, funerals can help us in the five following ways:  

To acknowledge the reality of death

When someone you love dies, it is important to openly acknowledge the reality of the death to help you forward with your grief. Often, there are two phases people go through when embracing this reality. The first step is to acknowledge the death in your mind. Then, over time, you will acknowledge it in your heart. A funeral can help you understand in your heart that your loved one is gone.

To move toward the pain of loss

Healthy grief means expressing your painful thoughts and feelings, and funerals allow you to do that. They provide a setting where you can openly express your sadness. 

To remember the person who died

To heal, it helps to start shifting your relationship with the person who has died from one of physical presence to one of memory. A funeral helps you begin this transition. For example, a eulogy highlights the major events in the life of the deceased and prompts memories. 

To search for meaning

When someone you love dies, you naturally question the meaning of life and death. Why did the person die? Why now? Why this way? To heal, you need to explore these types of questions to help reconcile your grief. This doesn’t mean you need to find definitive answers, only that you need the opportunity to think things through.   

To receive ongoing support from others

Funerals are a means of expressing your feelings about death, and a place where others can offer their support. A funeral allows attendees to demonstrate their support as their physical presence is an important show of support for the living. By attending a funeral, you can let other attendees know they are not alone in their grief. 

 

This information has been drawn from the work of Alan D Wolfelt PhD, a respected author, educator and consultant to the funeral industry. 

The information on this website is for general information only and are not (and nor are they intended to be) a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, nor is it used for diagnosis and treatment. You, or anyone you are concerned about, are encouraged to seek professional medical or mental health advice and treatment from suitably qualified medical and clinical practitioners and providers. 

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Funerals & Farewells Grief & Loss Healing Memorials Resources

The YourLoss team is dedicated to sourcing and providing Australians with free and easy access to relevant and helping information and resources to assist them in all areas of death and bereavement.

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