Funerals are a critical social practice. The service and social structure of it serves more the living than the dead, although many cultures incorporate religious and spiritual traditions and rituals to it that are important in their view to the soul. However, today we are only looking at the importance funerals play for the living as a social transitioning into acceptance of the reality of death.
For many, a funeral is critical in accepting the reality, but it is also a social convention where neighbors and loved ones can all share in the loss of a loved one, and not only grieve but celebrate the life of the departed. This is critical in healing for the bereaved.
The article, “Psychologist On Why Funerals Are Fundamental To Processing Grief” Mary Louise Kelly looks closer at the importance of funerals to the bereaved. She states,
“Funerals and the rituals that go along with mourning that loss are really fundamental to a number of processes. They’re fundamental to how we mourn, to how we grieve, to how we reinforce social ties, to how we expand the social safety net in times of vulnerability and loss. And more fundamentally, they reflect what it means for us to be human and for us to love and for us to connect.”
With Covid and the pandemic, it has been difficult for many to properly say goodbye to their loved ones. Funeral restrictions have prevented this critical process of grieving. No doubt it will also leave numerous psychological scars for years to come for those who were unable to properly say farewell to their loved ones.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification Program but also AIHCP’s Funeral Associate Certification. Programs are designed for working professionals and provide a four year certification.
Funeral Directors face new challenges with grief during COVID. Families who lose loved ones to COVID are unable to properly grieve. Funerals are limited and public condolences are prohibited in many cases. In addition, many families feel disenfranchised due to the stimga of COVID and the issues surrounding it.
The article from “Whats Your Grief”, “5 Ways Funeral Directors Can Help Families When A Death Is Disenfranchised” looks at in-depth regarding this issue. The article states,
“Recently, the world has been focused on deaths from COVID-19. And these deaths certainly have the potential to be experienced as disenfranchised. Notice I say “potential to be experienced as disenfranchised”. It’s important to note that disenfranchised grief is a subjective experience. People want, need, and receive different things from family, friends, and community. And it’s not a guarantee that everyone who experiences a particular type of loss will feel stigmatized or a lack of support and validation.”
COVID has made grieving our dead difficult for not only those who die of it but for funerals in general. Funeral Directors are faced with a new challenge of helping others express grief and find closure without traditional norms. Please also review our Funeral Associate Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.
Funeral Directors play a key role in grief counseling. They are on the front line with grief and helping people face grief and sadness. Many Funeral Directors also offer grief counseling for clients. The funeral is the first step of acknowledging grief.
The funeral is more for the surviving family with its many social functions to lay to rest the deceased. Many of the things done are religious and carry spiritual significance but socially and the traditions tied help the surviving family acknowledge the loss and allow others to offer their sympathies. It is a critical step. Grief counseling as a part of any package or funeral deal can be a huge way for individuals to understand more about their own grief and how to handle it.
The article, “The Growing Threat of Complicated Grief” by Tracy Lee looks at how Funeral Directors play an important role in dealing with the bereaved following a loss. She states,
“Funeral directors are those who have the most experience with death and its aftermath of grief; therefore, without familial support for survivors, funeral directors are the ones to whom the responsibility of grief recovery has fallen. The problem exists in that funeral education has not caught up with the needs of the profession. ”
Also please review our Funeral Associate Certification, as well as our Grief Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. With funeral service evolving and the need to meet grief on the front line, funeral directors and other grief counselors can play a key role in helping the bereaved at the funeral. They can also offer follow up service to help others overcome lingering grief.
Jewish end of life traditions and funeral preparation are intriguing spiritual studies. If in a spiritual counselor or a funeral associate it is important to have a vast knowledge of different religious traditions.
The article, “Jewish Funeral Service Rituals” by Kirk Fox states,
“Will you be attending a Jewish funeral for the first time? If so, you may have questions or be unsure what to expect. Here is a general overview of Jewish customs and traditions surrounding death, burial, and mourning to be aware of when attending a funeral in the Jewish faith. ”
End of life is not just about the loss of a loved one or the soon to come loss, but it is also a time for burial preparation. End of life costs alone and care can be immense, but funerals and services can also cost alot. Many individuals prepare for this event to lessen the burden on loved ones, others are completely unprepared.
The article, The Business of Dying: End of life choices and their costs”, by ANDREA BUSCHE states,
“Death – it’s not an easy topic to discuss. The details of dying, such as burial versus cremation or selecting your final resting place, make many people uncomfortable. But, like it or not, it’s coming for all of us someday. And with death comes many choices. ”
A funeral is a rite of passage. It is something that is religious and sacred but also something that is very sad. It is a rite of passage for the deceased but a time of great pain, agony and suffering for the surviving family.
While it is important to make this sad day perfect, in regards to religious rites as well as visiting hours, the service and wake, it is equally important to make sure the individuals and family grieving the deceased also are dealing and coping in a productive way.
The funeral itself is beyond just a rite of passage for the deceased, but also a social venue for the grieving family to find solace but also finality. For many it is the beginning of a long process of adjustment, accepting the reality of death and moving forward.
In this social event, family and friends are able to grieve openly and also check on others who share in their grief. It permits those who may be suffering internally to be given a chance to express sorrow and also be looked after by other surviving family. It is a gauge for the entire and collective health for the family a whole.
Some within the circle of family and friends may heal and cope quicker. At the wake, they may share old stories of the deceased and begin commemoration the loss in a healthy way. Others may need more time to grieve and be held and listened to.
In this array of emotions, individuals start the healing process at the funeral. This is why, it can truly be said, the funeral is more for the family than the deceased. True it is a remembrance of a life, a time to be grateful for that life and wish that life a successful transition into the afterlife, but for many, the funeral is about accepting that farewell.
Accept for the necessary prayers and religious rites, the deceased is at peace. It falls upon the function of the funeral and its rituals to help others accept that peace as well. In this way Funeral Directors, Funeral Associates, Pastors, Ministers, and Grief Counselors can all play roles of the day and after in helping the bereaved move forward.
It is true that after the funeral and the many cards in the mail, the true grey period of bereavement arrives, in which one learns the long lesson of adapting to life without the deceased and writing for oneself a new chapter. This is a long process, but the funeral sets the foundation for this long process to begin.
It is important to remember the grieving throughout the year and even years after as they overcome the loss in their life. Too many times, one dismisses another’s grief a few weeks after the funeral, thinking one should simply “get over it”, but the if one truly understands the nature of grief, then one will realize that the funeral is only the first step in a long process. A process that will involve future holidays without the deceased, as well as multiple anniversaries that only re-stir the emotions of loss within a person.
If you are interested in learning more about Grief Counseling or becoming a Funeral Associate, then please review our Grief Counseling and Funeral Associate Certifications and see if they match your academic and professional needs.
In the meantime, we need to see the critical importance the funeral plays as a social construct to help the grieving accept death but also as a way to help the healing process, but grief care cannot end there but is an ongoing process that goes well beyond a few weeks but sometimes beyond a year itself. We need to remember that the sting of loss never dies with grief counseling, it just becomes more bearable.
American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
Its Halloween and we usually expect to see the classic spooky grave yards, but CNN today listed some of the world’s most beautiful and scenic cemeteries in the world.
It is nice sometimes to think of a death and rest as a sacred and beautiful thing. When people come to see their loved ones, they can rest and meditate upon their loved ones and offer prayer.
If you are interested in a funeral associate certification, then please reveiw the program. After taking the core required courses, you can become eligible to become certified. The certification in Funeral Associate lasts for three years and can be renewed thereafter. You will need over five hundred hours of practice and fifty hours of continuing education.
As a certified funeral associate, you will be able to help the funeral director with the daily needs of the funeral home. While you may assist him in more detailed procedures, you will most definitely be able to run daily routine with customers and address their needs. We also recommend becoming certified in grief counseling to compliment this position.
In the meantime, please enjoy our blog and if you have any questions, please let us know
The article ,”Offbeat funeral services specialize in celebrating the deceased”, by Rossilynne Skena Culgan states
“As the closing theme song from “The Lawrence Welk Show” played in the background, family and friends circled the casket at a funeral in Indiana”
American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
Funeral Associate Certifications
Celebrate the life instead of grieving it? Sounds like a good philosophy but one still must be careful. Grief is still important because loss is only a loss if love was there. Grief exists side by side with love. We cannot be completely joyful if we loved because we will miss them. Yet in some cases, we still can celebrate their life. If you are interested in funeral associate certifications, then please review the program.
Funeral Assistants: Do People Need to Partake More in the Funeral?
The role of a funeral director and sometimes a funeral assistant is to plan the funeral. Yet, is this good for the person and their recovery over a loss? We tend to think that allowing a person sometime to himself is the best answer to recover but studies show a person who takes an active role in the funeral accepts the reality quicker and adjusts in a more healthy fashion.
This is because they are putting their grief to work. They are acknowledging the death and utilizing their sorrow in a positive fashion. The work of ordering flowers, display and food arrangements help allow the person to have some control in this sad movement and also allow the wife, husband, daughter or son to give back to their beloved and lost
While we cannot force the issue, we can encourage a small part to be played for those grieving the loss of their loved one. In this way, the funeral assistant is not only performing a service for the deceased but also playing a critical role in grief support.
If you are interested in learning more about funeral assistant certifications, then please review the program.
The article, “Funeral home offers drive-thru viewing parlor for those mourners who don’t want to come to a dead stop”, by Louise Boyle states
“Oliver & Eggleston Funeral Establishment in Farmville, Virginia has been offering the unusual option for two months… but so far no takers, the director said.”
American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
New ideas in funeral service are emerging everyday as the demands and needs of people change. Funeral service associates can offer a variety of plans to the bereaved. They can range from a traditional service to something more unique. In order to help the bereaved in their time of need, you will need to earn your funeral service associate certification. It is an important step in ensuring you have the knowledge for well run funeral service.