The Emotional Benefits of Holding a Funeral

When a loved one dies, the grief can be intense. If you’ve suffered a loss, you may be experiencing sadness, disbelief, anger, and even guilt, and it may seem like shutting yourself away from other people will make the pain less intense. The truth is, however, that grief shared is grief lessened, and relying on others for support is the best thing you can do to begin to heal. Where does the path to healing start? Often, it begins at the funeral.

  • A funeral promotes connection with others. Those who loved the person who died can come together to remember and grieve, offering each other support and consolation. Social bonds are an important part of the healing process, as they remind you that you are not alone, and life will go on. When you dismiss the need to have a funeral, you not only isolate yourself but also rob others of the opportunity to benefit from leaning on each other.

  • Allowing people to share in your grief gives them a way to support you. When a friend suffers a loss, it’s easy to feel helpless and at a loss for something to do to help. Attending a funeral allows people to show that they care for you, and support you in your loss. That benefits you, but it benefits them, too.

  • Honoring a loved one’s life is important. The most important thing is not the death, but the life that was lived. Each person’s life is unique, special, and worth remembering. A funeral is a chance to say goodbye, but it’s also a chance to stop for a moment and reflect on exactly what that person meant to you, and why your loved one mattered.

  • Ritual connects us to our roots. The rituals surrounding a funeral help us find meaning in the loss, and hope for the future. Participating in these rituals helps keep us rooted in the faith traditions of our family, and connected to the family history. Personal rituals in the days, months, and even years following a loss, like donating to charity in that person’s name, planting a tree in memory of your loved one, or lighting a candle on special days, are an important part of keeping memory alive, and honoring your connection to the person who has died.

  • Closure starts at the funeral service. Gaining closure after a loss is important, and in order to do that, we must first work through our grief. In a culture that races through many of life’s events, moving ever faster, a funeral provides one of those rare, healing moments of reflection, in which to quiet your mind and begin to find meaning in your loss.

Since 1843, the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society has worked to help Greater Cincinnati families plan their final arrangements and commit loved ones to the peace of our Lord. We operate St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery on West Eighth Street in Price Hill, St. Mary and St. John Catholic cemeteries in St. Bernard, and Baltimore Pike all-faith cemetery in Westwood. Dedicated to caring compassionate service, we are committed to helping Catholics plan funeral services for their loved ones and find burial space in consecrated grounds, as well as providing preneed services for those who wish to pre-plan their own funerals. Visit our website to learn more about us and find out how we can help you plan a meaningful funeral.

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