One of the most common things I hear people in their late 30s to mid-70s say, when it comes to talking about funerals is: “I’ll be gone, so it doesn’t matter”.
A phrase that all too well sums up the shift in perception about the value of a funeral and furthermore the value of life.
Okay, let’s put the brakes on for one second.
When I say “the value of life” I don’t mean we are all living recklessly and without care to our future; I mean that we are becoming more and more desensitized to not only death and dying but to an abundance of emotions and their triggers.
In this new age of information and technology we often forget to stop and enjoy the moments.
That’s right – enjoy the moments!
Because at the end of the day and in its own way that is what a funeral, celebration of life, memorial, or ceremony is meant to do. It is meant to allow your family, friends and loved ones remember the moments they enjoyed with you.
If you are still grumbling that you know your family and they would appreciate that you wouldn’t want them to make a fuss, you are likely wrong.
Making a fuss and what it means for your loved ones
Take for example a eulogy.
90% of the time a eulogy is written in one of two ways: either a way that the speaker can convey to the audience what type of person you were through a collage of memories and stories that they believe best aid in describing what you meant to them, or in a way that the speaker is directly addressing you, even though you are gone – talking to you as if you were sitting in front of them – saying their heartfelt goodbye.
What you have to understand is that no matter which audience the speaker is addressing the words they have chosen to say took time and effort to compile in just the right way.
But you’re gone, so why does it matter?
If it is still not resonating with you, let me point out one last thing. Think back to the last funeral service you attended that was held for someone that you were close to.
Remember everything that you felt everything that you experienced by being there?
Whether it be: bringing pictures, looking at pictures, attending the viewing, attending the inurnment, watching a slide show or listening to/giving the eulogy, at that service you were given a chance by the person who passed away to pay your respects.
Consciously or subconsciously it is likely that the time you were given at the service, or the role you were given at the service was a necessary element towards accepting, dealing with, and grieving the loss.
Had you not been given that chance, would it have affected you? Would you have felt you were stripped of what you needed to move on, because of someone’s actions that were no longer around to express your dissatisfaction with?
So although in fact you will be gone and perhaps you are still able to say for you it won’t matter, be assured that for your family, friends and colleagues, it really does matter.