Back when burial was the norm, and before embalming was widespread, in order to have a service with your loved one’s body present a funeral needed to happen quickly.And even with embalming as a common practice now, again, if you want your loved one’s body present for a service, or want a service to happen at the side of the grave, then there’s a pressure to hold public ceremonies quickly.
But I’ve heard too many stories of families who felt rushed to make all sorts of funeral arrangements and decisions when they’re still in the very initial stages of shock and grief. Only to later feel bitter about how events unfolded.
It’s okay to want a public service to happen soon. But I want you to know it’s not the only option.
I’ve helped families have private and small ceremonies within the couple of weeks after their loved one’s passing, and then wait a month or two before they feel ready to host a public funeral. Sometimes public memorials happen 6 months or a year after a loved one’s death. I’ve also supported folks hosting memorials to mark the 20th anniversary of a loved one’s passing. If someone has chosen an ash scattering to happen at a particular place--say a favourite camping spot or their cottage--then it might be necessary or desired to wait until a particular season for that to happen. And in the midst of a pandemic, waiting a longer time before we’re able to gather in person might be our only option.
A funeral ceremony is there to tend to our grief, to support one another in community. So choose a timeline and options that enable that to happen, rather than adding stress on top of raw grief.
If you want to chat about your options for ceremony, I offer a free 30 minute chat to get us started. You don’t need to walk through this alone. I’d be honoured to be a support.
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