They help to get the grief moving so that it doesn't get stuck inside.
Researchers and psychologists are very clear in their message about funerals and grief – participating in a funeral helps to counter the initial effects of grief like shock, numbness and disbelief.
Funerals underpin a necessary part of grieving – they reinforce the reality that the death has actually happened.
We need to allow our grief to surface. A funeral provides a safe and appropriate place to show and share our feelings with others. We should not underestimate how helpful this can be in setting the foundations for ‘good grief’ or healthy grieving.
The reality is this – you cannot avoid grief just because you don’t want to experience it, or you don’t want others to see you upset. As human beings, we need to grieve.
Whilst we are often grateful for someone’s life, funerals can’t just be one sided. You can’t just celebrate the person, we should be allowed to be real about how we feel. Farewells of any sort are legitimately an emotional time, so why shouldn't we be upset when we are never going to see each other again?
Funerals can help us say: Thank you. I love you. I'm lonely without you. I’ll always remember you. You meant a lot to me.