Funeral Services and Grief: How they help and what happens when you don’t have one.

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Funeral Services and Grief: How they help and what happens when you don’t have one.

How many of you had the chance to say goodbye to your loved ones during covid? Not many of us were allowed to attend a service and the services themselves were small. They lacked the community and relational bonds that we so desperately need when our loved ones pass on. Many of us lack closure due to the covid restrictions and we have pushed aside our grief and soldiered on with life. Now we are suffering from the lack of grieving rituals that a funeral or memorial service would have provided in our healing. We feel cheated and resentful of our medical staff or elected officials. We didn’t get to say our goodbyes or even be present when they passed away. We carry guilt and shame because we were not able to be there with them in their time of greatest need. Now that time has passed, we don’t recognize it as grief. We are just a little angrier and a little more frustrated with everything and everyone, especially ourselves. We are tired and emotionally drained, and we aren’t as willing to be sociable. It’s easier to isolate and stay home. We have many good reasons for it… life is busy. I get it. But maybe what you are experiencing isn’t just a lack of resilience but grief that has nowhere to go and no one to share it with.

Grief is an all-encompassing experience that if not expressed or talked through, will continue to show in your life in unexpected and usually negative ways. If you ask a funeral director, they will tell you that the funeral service is very important because it causes people to come together to:

• Grieve
• Say their goodbyes
• Tell their grief stories
• Start the healing process
• Connects each of you through your relationship with the one you lost.

It is so important to attend these events so that you not only honor the life and relationship of your person but also so you can begin to heal the loss of that relationship by talking with others who loved them as well.
I think that having a funeral service, memorial service, a celebration of life service, or any other way that you say goodbye to someone you loved is fundamentally important to your emotional and mental well-being. I don’t think it is ever too late to celebrate that person’s life and the meaning and purpose that they brought into our lives. For me, the best part of a service is listening to all the ways that a person has touched the life of someone else. There is a great deal of healing in the love that is shared when we gather to honor the life of our loved ones. We only can ever know someone in part… even a husband or wife. We each touch each other’s lives in different ways and that will only be discovered by telling our stories of our connection with them. What a way to honor someone’s life and stay connected to their memory.

It is never too late to celebrate the love you shared with someone who has passed away. I encourage you to find creative ways to make a meaningful goodbye, whether that is a public funeral service or a family celebration, we can grieve the losses together and heal what covid stole from us. You may be surprised how much inner peace and relief you find in gathering to grieve and share your love with one another.
Written by Kimberly Talmey RPC-C

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