Learning to Let Go : How Funeral Services Help You Grieve

by Sytsema

93411987_mLosing a loved one is one of the most emotionally difficult experiences in life. Not only do you and your family and friends need to learn to live a life without someone you love, but you also need to handle closing accounts, notifying others, and holding a funeral service. Especially if no prior arrangements were made, planning a funeral in a matter of days while coping with loss is extremely difficult. However, this process is also very beneficial. Having some sort of end of life service for your loved one not only honors their memory and allows others to say goodbye and pay respects, but it also can help the grieving process.


While it is difficult to admit the loss of your loved one is permanent and real, having a service is a chance to accept it and find peace. It may bring up very difficult emotions, but it also serves as your chance to acknowledge what has happened and take your first step in the grieving process. In order to make progress emotionally, you must find some level of closure. Your head may understand that your loved one is no longer here, but when you attend a funeral, your heart begins to understand as well. Socially, a funeral can provide support and make you feel safe and able to truly connect with your feelings.


A funeral or celebration of life also serves as a chance to gather everyone together who cares about the deceased. Together, you all get a chance to reflect. This time allows you to share stories, bring back memories, and connect with others who are also feeling the loss. Being at a funeral not only shows respect for the deceased but support for the living as well. Physically going to a service is a way of saying, “You are not alone.” This display of companionship and support can be much needed by any number of people in attendance.


Lastly, an end of life service is a crucial point of self-reflection. In many cases, attending a funeral will make you question the concept of death and more importantly, of living. Living without your mother, friend, sister, aunt, brother, or anyone you cared about, changes who you are and how you live. These changes are not something that can be understood instantly, they need to be considered and thought about deeply. Getting the closure you need at a service allows you to ask yourself the questions, “What’s next for me?” and “Who am I going to be after this?’’ The self-reflective questions that a funeral prompts are different for everybody, but answers will eventually come and are an important part of grieving and moving forward.  


At Sytsema, we understand how difficult this time can be, but rest assured that celebrating someone's life does indeed help you begin to heal, and our experienced and compassionate staff will be here for you every step of the way.

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