The Emotional Purposes of a Funeral

August 17, 2018 6:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

At our funeral home, we’ve seen people attend the same funeral service in Westchester, IL, but still come away with very different thoughts on how the funeral went and, more importantly, how it made them feel. One person may say, “It was very sad,” while another may say, “It was a very uplifting experience.”

It’s interesting to note that people can attend the same funeral and come away with seemingly opposite points of view. One thing that stays the same, however, is that both attendees had an emotional response to this event. A funeral should always be two things: an emotional experience and a transformative event.


People expect, or hope, to have an emotional experience when attending a funeral. A successful funeral should provide attendees with an opportunity to celebrate the life of the deceased by reminiscing and making a connection with others and with the deceased, but also by saying goodbye and finding closure. How people respond to these aspects of a funeral can be very different but equally important.

A funeral service should evoke memories about the loved one and create opportunities to share those memories. Whether an individual experiences joy or sadness through this process does not diminish its importance. You want to create a picture of who the person was in life, and that means drawing out your own memories and experiences with the deceased as well as making connections with others’ memories. This allows the focus to be shifted from the idea of death to the hope and celebration of life. It also creates an opportunity for attendees to support each other in their grief.

The other emotional aspect of a funeral is the act of saying goodbye, or finding closure. People often feel that they have unfinished business with the deceased or, particularly if the person passed quickly or unexpectedly, they were unable to say goodbye or let that person know how much they meant to them. A funeral should give an individual an opportunity to feel closure and to express these thoughts and feelings.


Ideally, a funeral service should be a transformative experience. The funeral should help individuals in moving through the stages of grief. This may look different for each person because we all grieve differently, but the funeral is usually an opportunity for people to accept the death of a loved one and be able to celebrate their life. A funeral should help create a sense of balance and acceptance for those who are grieving. Ideally, it should help move them from a sad, unaccepting state to a more peaceful and understanding mindset.

How a funeral service makes you feel determines its success. A funeral should be an emotional experience, but it should evoke emotions that help move you forward in your grieving process. If you want this for your funeral service in Westchester, IL, please reach out to Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. We will do everything we can to help you create a service that allows people to address their emotions, say goodbye and find that transformative experience.

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