Death is a part of life but nobody really wants to think about it. And its not just death, it’s the process.
A funeral is a process that allows us to wrestle with the process of death and grief. Some want the deceased to be memorialized traditionally and some at a gathering of friends and family that can express happier times. I have done both.
A funeral is a ceremony connected with the burial, cremation, etc. of the body of a dead person, or the burial (or equivalent) with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor. Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, and offering support and sympathy to the bereaved.
When I am called to preside at a funeral, I try to learn of the deceased from family before I start the service. I talk about life for the living. I remind those that are listening that is not too late for them to change their life. I emphasize the contributions, and acknowledge the loss. If I know the person, I will put humor in the service because laughter is the best medicine. I reassure the family that Biblically, there is a hereafter. I talk about living a life worth living. I honor the dead per the wishes of the family and MC the funeral to make sure family members and friends don’t get carried away and take too much time with their eulogy, poems, songs and well wishes. I understand that not everyone is a public speaker and may need help. I also know some people like the sound of their own voices and forget that this is not their time to perform before an audience. I help move the service on, respectfully and timely as funeral homes and cemeteries work on a tight schedule.
Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives. There is a lot that goes on between the “dash” of our birth date and the day we die.
Funerals have a way of helping you with perspective. They remind us of things we take for granted in our daily routines, don’t they?
We forget that there is finality to life. We forget that we won’t live forever. We realize the sin of procrastination. We start to grieve not for the one that died but for the loss in our life. Loss is a very big emotional hot button. You will do a lot of things to prevent a loss of “stuff.”
But when we lose someone we know we all ask the same questions.
The meaning of life…
We so easily lose perspective on what takes up our energy and focus. The truth is we are all dying. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this to enjoy living.
Funerals are interesting. You will see all the elements of your family and the human condition. Mourning is the natural process you go through to accept a major loss. Funeral traditions honoring the dead or gathering with friends and family to share your loss is where it starts. Mourning is personal.
Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything under the sun. And you will see it.
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecc 3:4
Coping with death is vital to your mental health. It is only natural to experience grief when a loved one dies. The best thing you can do is allow yourself to grieve.
Grieving is the outward expression of your loss. Your grief is likely to be expressed physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It is very important to allow yourself to express these feelings.
The death of a loved one is always difficult. Your reactions are influenced by the circumstances of a death, particularly when it is sudden or accidental. Your reactions are also influenced by your relationship with the person who died.
A child’s death arouses an overwhelming sense of injustice — for lost potential, unfulfilled dreams and senseless suffering.
A spouse’s death is very traumatic.
Elderly people may be especially vulnerable when they lose a spouse because it means losing a lifetime of shared experiences.
A loss due to suicide can be among the most difficult losses to bear.
There’s nothing to do with a life but live it. As Gandhi pointed out, “Almost anything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Should you be focused on today or tomorrow?
Savor the present but don’t forget your future. Life is a balance of knowing when to enjoy the moment vs. when to plant seeds for tomorrow’s harvest.
Quite of a few of my friends that listen to this show are around the same age as me, believe in the same God as me, want pretty much the same things out of this life.
My message to you is to live. Don’t waste your time on negatives, toxic people, and stupid people; never give someone the opportunity to waste your time.
Don’t envy, or feel sorry for yourself over what could have been. Be thankful for what you have right now. Who you are right now. Where you’ve been and what you have seen.
Remember, with support, patience and effort, you will survive grief. Some day the pain will lessen, leaving you with cherished memories of your loved one.
Life is too short to live the same day twice
- Death is a part of life. We don’t like to think about it but its here. It is ok and good for you to mourn, reflect and talk about your loss. Don’t try to dull the pain with drugs, sex, or alcohol.
- Seek outside help if necessary. If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.
- Seek out caring people. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses.
- Express your feelings. Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process.
- Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief.
- Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past.
- Postpone major life changes. Try to hold off on making any major changes, such as moving, remarrying, changing jobs or having another child. You should give yourself time to adjust to your loss.
- Be patient. It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept your changed life.
For something to change in your life, one of two things has to happen: your life changes, or you do. If you are looking for someone to honor your deceased in a funeral service, consider me. I can work with the funeral home, or church, and do the gravesite rituals.