Processing Grief: Why Do We Have Funerals?

processing grief

Funerals have been a sacred part of human civilization since the beginning of time. To this day, religions and societies worldwide use them to honor those who have passed away. These grieving rituals offer many benefits for the loved ones of the deceased such as:

  • coming to terms with their new reality
  • finding support
  • remembering their loved one
  • offering a safe place to feel their emotions
  • saying final goodbyes

Planning a funeral can be an emotional task, but there are many benefits to having one. By honoring your loved one, you can also begin the journey of processing grief. This article has laid out the most common reasons to have a funeral and its benefits.

Coming to Terms With Reality

When a loved one passes, the moment often does not feel real. Coming to terms with a new reality can be challenging, but it is necessary to process grief.

By having a funeral, you are openly acknowledging your new reality. This step may take a different amount of time for everyone. Sometimes it will take days, weeks, months, or years before you begin this journey, and that is okay. There is no timeline or limit when it comes to grieving.

Finding a Support System

Having a healthy support system, whether it be large or small, is essential in these situations. During the funeral, visitors, family, and friends can offer their support to one another. By sharing the same grief and need for comfort, it can bring people closer together.

Human interaction during times like these is vital. A simple hug, pat on the shoulder, or kind words can help someone grieving more than you know. FaceTime and text messages cannot beat in-person support and love. Technology such as this can be useful to stay connected but not as much to comfort in grief.


During a funeral, visitors often reminisce about the life of the person who passed away. By recalling the best memories, you have had with them, and you can add a spark of joy into the moment. Ways in which you can do this may include:

  • sharing a funny memory
  • recalling a time, they helped you
  • stating their best qualities

By doing this, you will be honoring your loved one and cherish the moments you spent together.

Providing a Safe Place to Grieve

Funerals allow people to gather and join together in their grief by creating a safe space. Everyone can feel all their emotions without the fear of judgment from others. Often people feel more relief when they can express their feelings.

When you numb your emotions or push them away, you may be causing yourself more harm than good. Neglecting your feelings can keep you from moving forward on your journey.

Saying Your Final Goodbyes

Saying goodbye for the final time can be an emotional action. But, this experience can be therapeutic in processing grief. With an open casket funeral, loved ones can see the deceased for one last time. By seeing your loved one’s face or holding their hand for one last time, this may offer a small sense of closure. If there is no open casket, then being present during the wake or cemetery service would be an excellent opportunity to get in your final goodbye.

Processing Grief: Conclusion

Every family and situation is different, and we are here to help you personalize your planning needs to benefit you during these times better. We hope that you consider all these benefits when deciding to plan a funeral. At Woodward cremation and funeral, we are here to help with all your needs and arrangements. Are you interested in finding more about our personalized funeral services in the Ormond Beach area? Visit us online today.  

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