4 myths about funerals

Four Funeral Myths

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Because death is a taboo subject for many, the funeral process can also be shrouded in myth. Here are four common funeral misconceptions:

Funeral Myth #1: Funerals are depressing. While it’s only natural to be sad and grief-stricken at a loved one’s passing, a funeral does not have to be a sombre, tear-filled event. A funeral can be a celebration of a life, where friends and family gather to begin the healing process. Funerals allow the bereaved an opportunity to say goodbye to their loved one and share in the memories of that person’s life with people who knew and loved them.

Funeral Myth #2: Funerals and cremation are mutually exclusive. When a family choses cremation for their loved one, they can still hold a service. A funeral with or without a body present may be held prior to cremation.

Funeral Myth #3: Funerals require the body to be embalmed. If a viewing and service will occur days after a death, embalming may be recommended to allow more time for families who have to travel to attend the funeral. While embalming isn’t mandatory, it does offer more flexibility in time frames when organizing the funeral service.

Funeral Myth #4: Funerals are only for the person who died. Today’s funerals often include personal touches to memorialize the life of a loved one, such as photo collages and favourite music. While these reflect upon the life of the deceased, funerals are not solely for the deceased. In fact, funerals help us cope with the loss of a loved one by introducing us to the reality of death; moving forward from the pain of loss; remembering the person who died; developing a new self-identity and receiving ongoing support from loved ones.

Adapted from “The Many Misconceptions of the Funeral Industry,“ Funeral Service Association of Canada.

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