What does the funeral provide for the mourners? Read views from SAIF’s Paul Allcock.

December 14, 2017   //   No Comments

Firstly I would like to offer everyone who reads this blog a very happy Christmas and a merry New Year (the correct way around in my view).

Some years ago I wrote a document entitled ‘What the funeral provides for the bereaved’. I wrote this with the intention of simply giving those interested an insight and an understanding of the benefits of a funeral, and also to make people think a little outside of the box and to question some of the assumptions we often make as individuals about others.

The document consists of 10 chapters. Following last month’s blog which had the first 2 chapters, I have included chapters 3 and 4 in this blog, and the rest will follow in my subsequent blogs. As usual I am happy to answer any questions regarding the content, but I also ask that you question yourself and to use your personal experiences to make appropriate judgements.

  1. A way to express feelings

The need to express feelings must be supported by the surroundings we are in, as much as the people within those surroundings. Expressing one’s feelings at a funeral director’s premises, in church or in a private home is valid and appropriate, whereas the aisle of Sainsbury’s amidst surprised strangers is obviously not so. The opportunity to express strong feelings without restraint or inhibition serves as a great therapeutic purpose.

Those who have lost a loved one, in any circumstance, and particularly those who have suffered a sudden bereavement, need to be given this opportunity in the most appropriate surroundings. Therefore it is essential that these premises and the people within them are readily available. The alternative can be repression with the unfortunate and unhealthy effects that accompany the denial of emotion.

  1. Something to believe in

Death challenges our intellects. Our thoughts and feelings come from deep inside us. When events such as death cause us strange internal reactions, it is important for us to be able to nourish the structure of the values and thoughts that sustain our lives. For many, religious beliefs are of great support, but there is an ever increasing number who do not have such strong beliefs, or indeed no faith at all. For these people the end of a life on this earth for someone they love leaves a cavernous hole, which they may feel can never be filled. It is subsequently up to all those connected with those grieving to take on the responsibility of giving these people something, or for many, more importantly, someone to believe in.