Why is it important to have a funeral service? is a question asked more and more frequently. And while we rightfully question the value of spending money on funerals, the funeral profession has done little to educate the public on the benefits of funerals.
The bigger question may be why do we spend time and money on any significant milestone such as engagements, weddings, birthdays, pregnancies, graduations etc? Is it because these events are important transitions and that we need to recognize their significance?
For millennia, death was considered significant and important, and we needed to honour and mourn those who died. In North America that is changing.Families often spend tens of thousands of dollars on weddings, but as little as possible on a funeral.
Is death now insignificant?
In our fast -paced and career-focused lives many now feel that death is an inconvenience and needs to be dealt with in a similar fashion as any inconvenience.
A funeral signals an end and perhaps because of this, we want it dealt with quickly and with as little inconvenience as possible. “Let’s just get it over with.”
However, those who believe that death isn’t important are often devastated to the core by its power and ferocity. Death is significant and those that believe that death isn’t important are often devastated by its power and ferocity. Death has no feelings and gives no mercy. No matter how hard we try, we can’t escape its clutches.
The funeral service provides us the opportunity to recognize the significance of the life that was lived, and the power of the loss to those left behind. It also provides people the chance to grieve and share in their pain.
Without a service, the pain can become denial, and the grieving doesn’t disappear; it just goes into hiding, revealing itself in many forms from guilt, to loss of sleep, to an inability move on from the loss etc.
Is a life worth remembering and honouring? Our society often responds as if it’s not, encouraging those who have suffered the death of a loved one just to get on with living. But our human frailty and psyche needs to honour, to remember, to mourn. Were all our ancestors wrong in how they dealt with death, or are have we become we detached from our own mortality?
The funeral service allows us the opportunity to honour, to remember, to mourn, and share our pain, and the significance in the life that was lost with those we love.
This is a very complicated subject and best discussed with a qualified funeral professional. We recommend contacting one of the funeral homes listed in this website for more information.