Misconception 1: If I decide to cremate a loved one there won’t be a funeral.
Today, the two most popular methods of disposition are burial and cremation. However, most families, regardless of whether they choose burial or cremation find value in holding a funeral or memorial service with a viewing. The funeral service is an important ceremony that helps us process our most profound thoughts and feelings about death. It helps us work through the six needs of mourning.
- Acknowledge the reality of death
- Embrace the pain of the loss
- Remember the person who died
- Develop a new self identity
- Search for meaning
- Receive ongoing support from others
Telling my family not to mourn me is selfless and is what’s best for them. This is perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions regarding death and grieving. While that attitude is typically meant in a meaning of self-deprecation, it hinders your loved ones’ ability to properly honor and mourn their loss.
Our parents, grandparents and spouses are typically the greatest heroes in our lives. It is simply not healthy to avoid dealing with pain of their loss. In fact, embracing that pain is one of the healthiest things you can do in the immediate aftermath of the death of a closed loved one.
Grief and mourning are a part of the way we move towards a new self identity after the death of a loved one. Trying to avoid dealing with that pain (by not holding a funeral, refusing to see your loved one after they pass, “pushing through” the death as quickly as possible) will lead to complicated grief down the road.