Funerals fill an important role for those mourning the loss of a loved one. By providing surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to share thoughts and feelings about death, funerals are the first step in the healing process.
The ritual of attending a funeral service provides many benefits including:
- Providing a social support system for the bereaved.
- Helping the bereaved understand death is final and that death is part of life.
- Integrating the bereaved back into the community.
- Easing the transition to a new life after the death of a loved one.
- Providing a safe haven for embracing and expressing pain.
- Reaffirming one's relationship with the person who died.
- Providing a time to say good-bye.
It is possible to have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. The importance of the ritual is in providing a social gathering to help the bereaved begin the healing process.