.

Why Have a Funeral?

Considerations to be made when contemplating funeral services

  • Personal Significance

 First, we must establish the personal significance of the person who died.  We need to discover how important this person was to us.  It is almost as if we must inventory our loss before we can grieve it.  This is necessary because we really do not know the value of a person until they are gone.  Just have a loved one have to endure a risky surgical procedure and have to face the fact that you might lose that person.  You will have found value to that person far beyond how valuable you may have even thought they were in your life prior to that.  We don’t know what we have until we have lost it.  That is why we must establish the significance this person had in our lives before we can move on toward our recovery.

Planning is an act of love.  Some folks have tried to paint the funeral as plastic, costly, meaningless and even pagan.  They seem to think the sophisticated thing to do is deny death and ignore the inner need to express love toward a loved one who has died.

Our efforts to avoid viewing often leave far too much to the imagination.  Imagination will almost always make it worse than it was in reality.

Gatherings provide a chance to talk.  Visitation time(s) at the funeral home or friends dropping by the home give us the chance to begin telling the stories about our loved one.  We establish significance as we talk about the person.  The stories we tell will one day become the great memories that stay in our house forever.

The funeral gives us permission to grieve.  Our society seems to see grief as an enemy to be avoided.  Some think cultured people do not show grief in public.  They are to carry their heads high and never show any sign of cracking.  My friends, grief is not an enemy.  It is nature’s way of healing a broken heart.  We are actually doing the best job of handling grief when we are grieving.  The more we express our grief the sooner we work through this process that leads to health.  Nothing I know of gives us a better chance and more freedom of expression than the funeral experience.

  • Unique and Personal

Families now feel free to eulogize their lived one or they may ask a close friend to do so.  Many families bring personal items and pictures to the service to further personalize the event.  Music is now more likely to be some favorite song the person loved or a song that meant a great deal to them.

The funeral is not about caskets and rituals.  The funeral is about mental health and healing.  When we have inventoried our loss and began the healing process of grief, then – and only then – has the funeral hone its vital work in our lives.

Of course I always respect the opinion, values and feelings of the family first and foremost.  My reason for writing this piece is not to minimalize anyone’s choices but to provide food for thought.  A consideration to make ahead of time.  The one who dies is where they feel they are after death.  Those left behind on this planet are the ones that then need to heal and go on.  While we memorialize the uniqueness of the life lived, I feel funerals are services for the living.

As always, if you have any questions concerning this or have personal questions you don’t want to post online, feel free to contact me by phone or email.  Mark.Kalinowski@Dignitymemorial.com or 860-848-0342

-           The information provided above is a culmination of text from our brochure “Why Have A Funeral?” written by a team of people with advanced degrees in grieving and bereavement along with this author’s input and personal and professional opinion.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

MisterSpuddy June 05, 2012 at 10:02 PM
@Elissa and Mark I think the subject is off-putting to many who want to deny the concept of mortality. We've all lost someone close to us and we all deal (or not) in our own way.
Brigid June 05, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Dear Mr. Kalinowski, Thank you for your thought provoking blog. There is a new thing out there that I call "anonymous blog rage'. People who would never say such nasty things to your face find courage to inflict pain on others via an anonymous forum. Some people lead miserable lives and feel the need to inflict their pain on others.
Teresa Little Smith June 06, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Mr. Kalinowski, Thank you so much for taking the personal time to write such a blog and to share the benefit of your professional expertise with readers of Patch. I, for one, am grateful, and appreciate your efforts. As I believe we all have something to share with others, I do hope you will continue your blog, because someone will always benefit from it. Isn't that what we all should be doing? Supporting each other in the best ways we can because that's the right thing to do? I am grateful, and bless you for your efforts. Teresa Little Smith
CAROLE GRALIA June 27, 2012 at 04:31 PM
HOW SAD
CAROLE GRALIA June 27, 2012 at 04:56 PM
WOW......IT IS SO SAD TO READ SOME OF THE NEGITIVE FEELINGS AS TO DEATH AND HUMAN DISPOSAL. I PICK UP MORE AND MORE FROM FOLKS THEY DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH IT. JUST HAVE THEM CREMATE ME AND DO WHATEVER WITH THE ASHES! YOUR TELLING ME YOU LIVE YOU WHOLE LIFE AND JUST WANT TO BE DISPOSED OF LIKE TRASH? SOME SAY FUNERALS ARE TO EXPENSIVE.........EXCUSE ME BUT HOW MANY HOMES HAVE YOU BOUGHT IN YOUR LIFE? BOATS? AND DON'T FORGET CARS MAYBE EVEN RV'S AND HOW MUCH WAS DROPPED ON VACATIONS CLOTHES??? THE YOUNG WHO "DON'T WANT TO BE BOTHERED" WITH THE ILL , OLD OR DIEING......IT'S JUST ME, ME ME........I WONDER HOW ONE DAY WHEN THEY ARE OLD AND FRAIL THEY WILL TAKE BEING TOSSED OUT LIKE FRIDAYS TRASH? A FUNERAL IS PART OF US AS HUMANS AND WE NEED TO GET RESPECT BACK IN LIVES. NONE OF US LIKE IT BUT IT WILL HAPPEN TO EACH AND EVERYONE AND IT DOES NOT HURT TO FEEL PAIN AND SHED TEARS IF YOU ACTUALLY LOVED A PERSON. MR.KALINOWSKI YOU PRESENTED A SUBJECT I HAD NO IDEA HAD BECOME MORE UNCARING THEN I EVEN IMAGINED AND IT HURTS VERY BADLY. FOR THOSE OF US WHO STILL CARE TO TREAT HUMAN REMAINS WITH LOVE AND RESPECT YOUR SERVICES ARE NEEDED AND GLAD YOUR OUT THERE. PERSONALLY I FEEL THE PURCHASE OF OUR FUNERALS AND CRYPTS WAS AN INVESTMENT IN OURSELVES AND THANK GOODNESS WE DID IT. WE EARNED IT AND WE ARE ENTITLED TO SPEND IT ON OURSELVES RATHER THEN LEAVE TO THE HEARTLESS.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »