Why celebrating life is so important at a funeral

Elderly male sitting and smiling, a young boy hugging and kissing him on his right, and a young girl sitting on his left knee kissing him on the cheek.

When it comes to a funeral, some opt for the bare essentials. This is a less expensive way to do it and gets everything done quickly. However, it shortcuts a vital part of grieving. It misses the hugely important aspect of celebrating the life of the person that died.

A funeral that celebrates the person’s life is one that publicly remembers them, pays respect to who they were and the legacy they have left. It gives friends and family the opportunity to say an appropriate farewell. 

Once it was thought that emotional closure could happen after the loved one is laid to rest and those grieving could move on. The desire to have this process done quickly, without fuss is very understandable. However, it is now understood that taking the time to grieve appropriately, which includes a funeral, is a significant marker in our journey of life without that loved one. 

Here are four reasons why it’s important to hold a funeral that celebrates the person’s life.

1. A funeral that celebrates a life is valuing the person who died.

By remembering them, we are dignifying them as an individual that mattered, someone that was significant and worth celebrating. We share with others all that person meant to us. Taking care to arrange and conduct a meaningful service is honouring to the person. Those who opt to shortcut this process can regret their decision later.  

2. A funeral that celebrates the loved one is beneficial to our journey of grieving well.

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement has wisely advised that ‘death is a choiceless event, but grieving isn’t’. Making choices, even about practical things like what kind of funeral will take place, can help with a sense of helplessness or powerlessness that can accompany the loss of a loved one. Sharing our memories, funny stories, sadness and gratitude with others is a key contributor in receiving care, support and help in our grief.  

3. A funeral celebrating a life is a way of expressing thanks and gratitude to God for the blessing this person brought into our lives.

Each loved one is a gift from God, even those who have died, in our view, too young. To join together with others and share what that person meant to us and the blessing that they were to us, is all done in God’s presence and is a way of expressing thanks to Him. 

4. A celebration of life is a way of teaching our children not only the important process of grieving and saying farewell, but also the meaning of a life well lived.

We are recounting for the next generation how an individual can leave a wonderful legacy for a whole family or community of people. Parents should decide how to communicate with their children what is happening, and funerals can be arranged and conducted in a way that includes the young. Every individual matters to God. He knows each and everyone of us. We are all entrusted into His care at the end of our lives. Our children can be shown this through a funeral that celebrates life. 

At Living Hope Funerals, we understand the importance of this, and are committed to supporting families in arranging and conducting funerals that celebrate life well, that honour the person that died, and that help support the grieving. 

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