A Healing and Therapeutic Funeral

 In Article

Words are very important. One of the first lines I say to a congregation at a funeral is that I hope their presence and participation will in some way aid them in their grieving and their healing. When planning a funeral with the family I try to facilitate a ceremony that helps as many mourners as possible to begin the grieving they need to do in whatever way is right for each of them. My aim is that the ceremony is a healing experience.

Grieving is a personal and social thing. As individuals we need to grieve in our own way. Each grieving is as different as each pregnancy. Any woman who has more than one child will attest to the fact that each will be different, such is grief, and we never know beforehand quite how we will react. We need to grieve in a very personal way, maybe by reflecting, questioning, adapting, retelling, rebuilding and reinventing. When we have lost someone close we also become a different person, often people will say they no longer know who they are after a loss. Grieving is a process of reconstructing a world of meaning that has been challenged by loss.  It is a time when we are forced to become a different person, like it or not.

A skilfully crafted funeral script can help to set up unconscious therapeutic processes that will help the task of grieving to take place. We cannot change what has happened but we can change the way we think about it.