Some ways in which the funeral helps in the grieving process are:
At a worldwide level the funeral gives other world leaders or their representatives a chance to show solidarity in the acknowledgement of the loss the world has experienced because of the death and to express condolences to the people of the country and the family of the deceased.
At a communal level the funeral gives leaders of community groups or clubs in which the deceased was involved an opportunity to acknowledge the service and contributions he or she made to the community and to recognise special achievements. It also gives them a chance to pay their last respects to the deceased and to offer words of comfort and consolation to the family and friends as they grieve the loss of their loved one.
In the workplace the funeral gives managers and colleagues in the workplace or the leaders in the education organisation an opportunity to acknowledge the loss to the company or education organisation because of the death of the person, to pay their last respects to the deceased and to offer words of comfort and consolation to the family in their grief.
In the School or other Education Institute the funeral gives the principal, teachers and students an opportunity to acknowledge the loss, to pay their last respects to the deceased and to offer words of comfort and consolation to the family in their grief.
In the faith community the funeral is a time to give expression to faith and religious beliefs about life and death. All religions have specific rituals. The readings - usually taken from one of the Holy Books, the prayers of thanksgiving for the life of the deceased, prayers of comfort and consolation to the bereaved and the commendation of the deceased to rest in peace offer the bereaved hope, comfort and consolation in their grief.
For the members of the immediate family the funeral makes them focus on the reality of the death of their loved one. They have to make decisions and choices when planning the funeral, they have to express personal feelings and memories of the deceased as they prepare and give the eulogy and finally they commend their loved one to rest with love and in peace. All these actions mark the rite of passage of their loved one from life to death and afford some closure to their relationship with their loved one as it was when he or she was alive. One of the most important aspects of the funeral is that the love, support and friendship expressed by those attending the funeral give comfort and consolation to the bereaved and ease their pain as they move forward in the process of grief.
For these reasons the funeral is very important, whether it is on a grand scale for a prominent person in the world, or a private affair for a select few of family members and friends as it helps everyone to acknowledge the loss and move forward in the process of grief.
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