Original photo by Terri Webster Schrandt
The Reasons I Like Attending a Funeral
This may be an unlikely subject for a post, but let me explain. I realize that funerals may not be the happiest of occasions. However, if you are over 50 years old, I’m sure you’ve been to a couple by now. In fact, the older we get, the more they become a common occurrence. Thus, Cathy, of My Side of 50, and I decided to concentrate this week on the funeral ceremony. Cathy has 19 practical ways to help when someone dies. If you’ve ever had a loved one pass, then you know how hard these times can be to remember everything. Cathy gives some great ideas on what you can do to pitch in to help someone close to you, during these times. I would suspect you already know a couple of these tips, but it’s always nice to have list to reference as it is hard to remember them when you need them. So my suggestion would be to pin her post to your Pinterest page for easy retrieval.
Stay tuned for later in the week, where we will be showing our outfits for attending a funeral. This is definitely a time to make sure you have appropriate clothing for this occasion. Because we don’t usually have weeks or months to get prepared for it like you do for a wedding.
Personally, I have been to many funerals. If I remember correctly, the first one was for my grandfather (pictured here). I was probably in my early 20’s, and I don’t really remember it being an awful experience. Maybe one reason for that is because I was well known at his church. He used to take me all the time when I was a young girl, so many of the people there knew me from long ago. And who doesn’t love hearing “I remember you from when you were a little girl?”
But I have quite a small immediate family, so most of the other funerals that I have attended aren’t close family (besides my dad). When I was practicing as a dentist, I would try to attend the funerals of many of my patients. In fact, I still read the obituaries every day, just to keep up with anyone that I might have known from that time in my life. And it was while I was attending these ceremonies, that I realized how much I enjoyed them.
As for me, I’m one of those “Pollyanna” personality types along with being very practical. So the idea of a funeral, may not be my favorite affair, but the truth of the matter, is we are all going to die at sometime. Thus I’ve learned that looking at this with a different perspective, can make it more pleasant. Here are a couple of reasons that I would now say, I like going to a funeral.
Without question it’s sad that the person who has passed is no longer with us. Of course, we are not happy about that fact. But I’ve always heard that the funeral experience is more about supporting the family. I think most of us could feel good about the thought that we are helping out others by attending. And if you think that “just” showing up at the funeral, isn’t much? I would beg to differ.
I remember at my dad’s funeral, thinking how meaningful it was that so many people took the time out of their busy schedule to come show their respect. Even if I wasn’t able to talk to everyone or remember who was there, just the fact that the church was crowded left me with an amazing feeling.
Even when I’m the guest at a funeral service, there are many times that there isn’t a chance to greet the family or give my condolences in person. That’s why I always make sure to take along a sympathy card and sign the register.
I think there is a huge sense of community when you attend a funeral or memorial service. The feeling that you are not alone and are part of this group who knew this person, can be very uplifting. I can’t tell you how many times that it’s so helpful for me to see others I know at these events. Just the fact that I can talk to someone else who is feeling what I am feeling, is so beneficial. Besides, it’s a perfect time to share the stories that you each know about the deceased.
The other aspect, is the fact that there tends to be quite a bit of hugging at this occasion. The physical aspect of hugging is good for not only condolences to the other person, but also yourself. I know how important the act of touch can be, and it’s at times like this that it’s even more important. I’m sure most of you already have heard the fact that a hug is very powerful and has health benefits. That’s because it’s been shown that when this physical interaction happens it causes the release of the happy hormones. Another advantage is it can even reduce some of the stress hormones in our bodies.
Have you ever notice that you learn so much about a person at their funeral? When I was telling Nancy about the subject of this post, she even said, “at the end of every funeral I’ve attended, I always say, ‘I wished I had known them better’.”
I think this is because you usually only know the person in question in a certain context. Yet at the funeral, there are many times that others will share their stories of the deceased. And usually these are stories you had never heard! One of my favorite times at a funeral is when someone shares the funny antics. As someone with a license plate that reads Hah Hah, I am a huge fan of being able to see the positive and uplifting side of things. Even at a funeral!
It always reminds me of the Kenny Chesney song “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Go Now!”
What about you? Have you been to many funerals? Do you enjoy them or not?
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