Guest Post - What Funerals Mean to Me

    Below is an interesting little description from an undertaker of what funerals mean on a personal level.  Specifically how being un undertaker has influenced their views of the funeral service and of death in general.  It was a fun little read and as such I am sharing it (with permission) on my blog, it's great to get other perspectives like this one.

It has been said before, but I’m going to say it again; Funerals are for the living! It is a means of giving people the opportunity to find closure with their loved one, their friend, their family or even their enemy.

We attend funerals for many reasons, for some it is to say goodbye, for others it is to support someone who is saying goodbye, to make an appearance because it is polite, to see the rest of the family since it’s the only time they are all together, to find forgiveness from the deceased, or to work on the funeral (which is more often than not my case). Given, some of these reasons are more common than others, but that’s expected.

Regardless of the reason, the funeral is an excellent way to cement the realisation that the person is dead. Now while this may sound quiet harsh, denying the reality can sometimes cause more undue stress to family members further down the track as it doesn’t allow them to move on. Moving on does not mean forgetting the deceased, more adjusting to life without them.

I personally think that the funeral can be one of the hardest parts of a family member dying, something I put this down to is the reason above, it all becomes real and you are forced to face the death at the funeral.

I’ve attended 6 funerals in my personal life of my loved ones, two of which have been since I have worked in the funeral industry. It was a completely different experience then the ones beforehand. It made me realise that I have become desensitised to death. I have accepted mortality since I spend so much time around it, and know (and accept) that it will most definitely happen to everyone I have ever known, and myself at some stage. And that’s ok. While it is true, I had this revelation after a few drinks and pondering why the last two funerals didn’t upset me so much, it still doesn’t change the conclusion I’ve come to. Fortunately I still have my parents walking this earth, but I am sure that when their day comes I will grieve differently (not necessarily easier) than most.  Part of me is even curious what this will be like, not to be mistaken for me looking forward to it. I think I am just more comfortable with thinking about the inevitable before it happens then other people I know. 

Death Correspondent (DC) --

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