The Ritual Of Funerals
Every family, religion, and culture has its own rituals. Throughout history, humans of all walks of life have created and adapted rituals for all aspects of life. We celebrate birthdays, gather in jerseys with wings and beer for the big game, and count down the new year together. But we also have rituals for more somber occasions, like the passing of a loved one. But why do we follow rituals in the face of death?
Funerals Through the Ages
In societies throughout the world, we have mourned and celebrated deaths with our loved ones. From funeral pyres to vast pyramids, humanity has always collected as a community to remember those who passed away. Even before the first villages were created, nomadic tribes would bury their dead and hold rites for their deceased. Our more modern funerals often have us donning our black formalwear and going to our local funeral home.
Making Sense of Death
Death is often a difficult concept to explain. Humans have a unique need to make sense of the world surrounding them. Even thousands of years after the first humans, we still don’t really know what happens when we pass away. Death is a big unknown. Every religion in the world, modern or ancient, has tried to explain what happens when we die. Funerals, of all kinds, help offer loved ones a sense of closure. We say our last goodbyes, surrounded by friends and family who share our pain. We offer prayers for peace in the beyond for our beloved. Death may not always make sense, but funerals help us understand the finality of it, and give us hope that our loved ones are at rest.
We may not fully know what happens when we die, but funerals help us find a light in the inky blackness of our grief. Funerals help us move through the denial stage and offer us the first steps down the path towards acceptance of our loss. Grief in the face of a loved one passing can be intimidating, but we feel stronger when we face the realities of death surrounded by those who care about us.
Humans are behavioral and social animals. Coming together, in the ritual of a funeral, allows us to feel more comfortable at a very uncomfortable time. As a collective, surrounded by family and friends, we know that we are not alone in our sorrow. The passing of a loved one can be a very isolating and traumatic experience. While everyone feels loss and grief in their own way, it is comforting to grieve, cry, and reminisce together.
For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.