Featured FAQ: What is the Value of a Funeral?

August 1, 2016

The most important meaning of a funeral is honoring the life of a loved one and providing a safe and supportive venue for family and friends to express their grief and offer support to one another.  A funeral provides an opportunity for closure and becomes an important first step in the path toward healing.

“A funeral is really for the survivors and not for those who have passed,” said Co-President Dennis Keohane. “The main reason to have funerals is to fulfill the need for the children, grandchildren and other loved ones to invite the community to participate in a ceremony and service to honor the person who has died.”

25906735_sAccording to the National Funeral Directors Association, attending a funeral service offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Providing a social support system for the grieving family and friends.
  • Helping those grieving to understand death is final and that death is part of life.
  • Integrating the grieving family back into the community.
  • Easing the transition to a new life after the death of a loved one.
  • Providing a safe haven for embracing and expressing emotions.
  • Reaffirming one’s relationship with the person who died.

Holding a funeral helps confirm the reality and finality of death, which can be difficult to grasp in the throes of grief. While some may feel it is more convenient to have the body cremated without holding a ceremony, survivors may find it difficult to move forward without the opportunity to say goodbye and the closure provided by a funeral service. Many people are not aware that funeral services can still be held even if a loved one chooses cremation as a final dispensation. Many families choose to have the urn holding the ashes present during the visitation or at the funeral services while others choose to provide a photograph of the deceased in lieu of a casket.

A funeral is an opportunity for the community to pay its respects. It provides a shared experience of loss where loved ones can offer their expressions of grief as well as support, so that survivors no longer feel alone in their grief.

A funeral can be based on religious ritual, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many options available today, including ceremonies led by Funeral Celebrants to celebrate the life of a loved one in a non-religious environment – whether at the funeral home or other gathering space, either indoors or outdoors.

Providing a time to honor the person’s life within a community setting and an opportunity to say good-bye, the ritual of a funeral helps survivors heal and move on with their lives in a healthy way while still feeling connected to the deceased.

If you have any additional questions about the value of a funeral or would like to make an appointment to meet with one of our experienced funeral directors, please contact us at any of our locations or call our main office at 800-536-4263.

Photo credit: kzenon/



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