When everyday words and actions are inadequate, the ritual of ceremony provides a needed structure of what to say and do. Funerals also help us acknowledge the reality of the death, remember the life that was lived, support one another in our grief, express our grief outside of ourselves, consider the meaning of life, and begin the long, hard process of coming to transcend our grief and move toward a new wholeness.
The following topics answer many common questions about funerals and funeral planning. We hope the answers help you create transformative funerals when someone you love dies.
“People who take the time and make the effort to create meaningful funeral arrangements when someone loved dies often end up making new arrangements in their own lives. They remember and reconnect with what is most meaningful to them in life. They strengthen bonds with family members and friends. They emerge changed, more authentic and purposeful. The best funerals remind us how we should live.” — Dr. Alan Wolfelt
Writing a good obituary
Why the funeral is important
Working with a funeral director
Making the funeral meaningful
Spending time with the body
Helping children with funerals
What to say and do at a funeral
Ceremonies after the funeral