- Humans have held some form of funeral service for those they have loved and lost throughout time it would seem. Grief comes naturally and is very painful to suffer and a funeral service is an opportunity to express and share that grief with friends and family.
- A religious service is an opportunity to pray for the soul of the person you have lost and to connect with your God on a personal level thereby reducing the sense of total loss.
- If it is a non-religious service it helps to acknowledge that someone we love has died and the gathering for the service of friends and family provides a support system.
The sort of funeral service will depend on a variety of aspects not least of course the desire of the deceased person. I have known people who have passed over who have planned their funeral service to the last detail, choosing the hymns, speakers, guests, their choice of flowers, even where the wake should be held. Others don’t wish to discuss it or even think about it and leave it to their family or friends to decide. It’s a very personal matter and some people don’t want to think about death or anything associated with it. Perhaps death and the prospect of leaving the world behind frightens them. Whatever the reason it’s their choice.
If there are no plans or requests in place by the deceased then it is often the nearest and dearest who decide on the type of funeral service and it is often based on the knowledge of and the relationship with the deceased. My mother would never discuss funeral arrangements, satisfied that she had made a will stating her wishes for her estate and she had put in place a power of attorney, she would laugh and say, “make sure you have a party and the girls wear pretty dresses” so we did our best and knowing that she loved red roses her coffin was covered with them!
She had been a war time bride and so the music in the church was one of her war time favourites,
‘We’ll meet again’ and I hope we will. She had lived a long and happy life. Of course, it’s very different if someone has died tragically in an accident or prematurely of illness, or even before they’ve had a life, at birth or shortly afterwards. However someone dies or at whatever age, the loss for those that loved them goes deep and whatever sort of funeral service is decided upon, be it a large gathering or an intimate small gathering, it is, in my opinion an occasion for a very special opportunity to say a final Goodbye and as we celebrate every birth of a new life so we are able to celebrate the joy of having known and loved the person we’ve lost at whatever type of funeral service we or they choose.
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