Do I really need to attend the funeral?

Your support is important. When a child is born, it is a life changing event for the parents, siblings, and grandparents at the very least. It may also be a life changing event for the kindergarten teacher five years in the future. Bottom line, life matters.   


When a life ends, it is also a life-changing event. Regardless of the age at which the person dies or circumstances of the death, lives will change. Family and friends will never see that person again. They will not share in each other’s joy. Neither will they have the opportunity to heal old wounds. They will not hear that voice in praise, love or anger ever again. It’s over, and in some way everyone close will have to adjust to the change. 


The funeral, whether in-person or virtual, acknowledges a living person is gone. Your presence says, “Yes, this life mattered. And, yes, your lives have changed. But not everything has changed, you still have us.” Going to the funeral home or watching the live stream is important.   


The funeral is a safe place for the family to receive guests and their condolences. It’s ok to cry at the funeral. In a few weeks when you see this friend of yours who lost her mom, you will want to say something. And when you do, the emotion will open up and the sadness will surface. Crying at the grocery store or the park is uncomfortable for everyone.   


When people organize a funeral and ask friends and family to share in their loss and sorrow, help them. Please go, share a memory, offer your condolences, and smile at the video. Do this especially now, when losing a loved one is particularly hard. Let them cry in a safe place.

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