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Funeral Misconceptions

There are a number of misconceived thoughts about funerals.  Here are some that should be considered and addressed when planning a funeral.

  1. Funerals make us too sad. When someone we love dies, we need to be sad. Funerals provide us with a safe place in which to embrace our pain.
  2. Funerals are inconvenient. Taking a few hours out of your week to demonstrate your love for the person who died and your support for survivors is not an inconvenience, but a privilege.
  3. Funerals and cremation are mutually exclusive. A funeral (with or without the body present) may be held prior to cremation. Embalmed bodies are often cremated.
  4. Funerals are only for religious people. Non-religious ceremonies are also appropriate and healing.
  5. Funerals are meaningless. They needn’t be. With forethought and planning, funerals can and should be personalized rituals reflecting the uniqueness of the bereaved family.
  6. Funeral should reflect what the loved one wanted. Maybe not…While the wishes of the person who died should be respected, funerals are primarily for the benefit of the living.
  7. Funerals are only for adults. Anyone old enough to love is old enough to mourn. Children, too, should have the right and the privilege to attend funerals.

Source: Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., C.T.