I went to my really good friends funeral today and I only realized what’s the real reason for having a funeral. Although I have been to several funerals, this one today really opened my understanding. Funerals aren’t for the dead! Yes we share their life for all to see, to remember the fond moments we had with them and to lay them to rest, but a funeral is really for those who are alive.
The funeral is to bring closure to those who may have questions, to those who is in denial, to those who just want to see the person one last time. If a funeral never takes place for someone who has gone before, then there really is no closure. If we examine carefully, we would see that persons who may have drowned or murdered and their body is not found, their family have a very hard time in moving on because they still have a bit of hope that their loved one is still alive out-there. Whilst this may not necessarily be the case, but because they were not able to lay their loved one to rest they will always have some false hope that things aren’t what it is.
We need the closure, we need the questions answered, we need to see our loved one for just one last time in the flesh. Closure, because we need to say goodbye to the person in the flesh. Answered questions because we sometimes need to see to believe. See our loved ones because though we will always have them in our memory and we may be able to look at a picture to remind ourselves of the moment we shared, not seeing them in the flesh is painful. So the funeral is for that one last look.
Though a funeral is very sad and full of tears in most cases, it is needed for all!