Grief, Death and Funerals: For Those Left Behind

Two years ago, my uncle died. A beloved past-minister, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, son, and so on. He was well known in many communities of people. When I called my mother to ask about the funeral arrangements, she informed me there would not be one. I was really upset to hear this. It was because the family, with his knowledge, had felt that they did not want to do this. They didn’t want a bunch of commotion. I was furious with this but my words could not be heard because his family are people that when they make a decision, they are not detracted.

As a psychotherapist, who deals with death and dying quite frequently from survivors who come into my office, I know the importance of grief. A funeral is not for the dead, it is for the living. It is for the people who love the departed one and who need to come together in memorial of this person to “sing” their praises. When you deny a funeral from your loved one’s and those who knew of you, you are keeping them from being in congregation with one another and withholding their ability to have closure.

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