The Significance of Funeral Rituals
The funeral rituals that surround Sun City West, AZ cremations have a deep and lasting impact on everyone who is mourning the loss of someone they loved and cared about. Funeral rituals help us accept the reality of our loss, show honor and respect to the deceased, express sorrow and sadness in a way that is culturally acceptable, provide support to mourners, and offer hope to the living.
Gradually, as society has become distanced from death itself, through putting our elderly and our dying in hospitals or nursing homes to spend their last days, doing everything medically possible to extend our lives, and changing the very nature of funeral and memorial services from grief-centered to celebration-centered, many of these funeral rituals – and their purposes – have begun to disappear.
People who are grieving have reconciliation needs that a celebration of life cannot meet. Mourning is a process, composed of specific tasks, that takes time and thoughtfulness, as well as comfort and support.
It’s impossible to move from the intense grief that immediately follows the death of a loved one into a place where the deceased are still missed – and there are moments of intense grief for as long as we lived – but we’ve accepted the death as a new reality for us and we can move forward with our hearts full of love and memories for the people we’ve lost.
Several things need happen to make this transition and that is the purpose of funeral rituals.
The first thing that needs to happen is to accept the death of a loved one as real and final. This happens in two phases. Intellectual acceptance comes first: we know they died. But emotional acceptance – the heart part – takes time. Funeral planning and execution finalize, so to speak, the death of our loved one help us intellectually acknowledge their death as a reality.
Participating in funeral or memorial services begins the heart phase of acceptance because we embrace the pain of our loss and our feelings can often overwhelm us to the point of being emotionally distraught, whether we express that externally in sobbing tears or we feel it internally as it feels like every piece of our heart has been shattered into a million pieces that will never be put back together the same way again. All of this is acceptable behavior in a funeral or memorial services, while it is generally frowned up outside of that environment, so we’re free to tackle the pain head-on.
The third thing that needs to happen is to change the nature of our relationship with our loved one who died from a physical presence to a presence through memory. This is accomplished in a funeral or memorial service through both the stories we hear about our loved one before and after the services and by everything that traditionally makes up those services: readings (secular or religious), eulogies, and music. These services also legitimize our pain by affirming the worth and value of our loved one.
The last thing that needs to happen is the development of a new self-identify. If you’ve lost a spouse, you are now a widow or a widower. If you’ve lost a parent, you are now fatherless or motherless. If you’ve lost a child, you are now childless (even if you have other children). Funeral and memorial services allow us to assume those new identities while being surrounded by people who recognize them and still care for us.
For more information on funeral rituals and Sun City West, AZ cremations, our compassionate and experienced team at Simply Cremation & Funeral Arrangements is here to help. You can come to our funeral home at 16952 W. Bell Rd., #303, Surprise, AZ, 85374, or you can contact us today at (623) 975-9393.