Imagine what family and friends experience when a loved one simply disappears. They can’t get on with their lives until they know if that person is alive or dead. We read in the paper quite often that the family of a missing person is sad but grateful when the remains are found so they can have a proper funeral and find closure.
We need a tangible experience to mark the end of one segment of our lives so we can go on to the next. It helps to have confirmation that death has actually occurred, so that we may come to grips with the loss and begin life again. The funeral helps us come face to face with the loss and accept it. It is the beginning of the healing process.
The funeral itself is literally the celebration of a lifetime. It is a ceremony that shows respect, love and gratitude for a person who made a unique difference in the lives of family and friends and many times, a whole community.