By acknowledging all of one’s family, friends and neighbors that remain available in one's social circle, one may find reassurance and comfort in the fact that they are not alone. The communities promise to attend funerals establishes emotional stability, security, and support in facing death. To not hold a funeral is not to observe this sacred pact. If "people have an aversion to death, they have a persistent sense of despair and hopelessness"¹, The funeral rite gives us the opportunity to act for others as we would wish them to act for us. When we grieve for others, we grieve for ourselves. "We attempt to master the storms of life by finding palatable reasons for our personal suffering. With the discovery of meaning comes the possibility of restoration".¹
We want our presence to be missed, our deaths to be mourned, and for life to have meaning. It explains why we host funerals and grand memorials. We yearn to be remembered. Our lives must have had held some meaning. Attending a funeral reminds us that we will someday merit the same honor, respect, and display of affection.
Please share your thoughts on supporting a friend or loved one who is grieving. What did you find to be most helpful? What advice can you share with others?
¹ Roussell, J.O. (1999). Dealing with Grief: Theirs & Ours. Staten Island, NY: Alba House.
² Worden, J.W. (2009). Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy. A Handbook for the Mental Health