Reasons Why People Do or Don't Want
By Linda Hancock
Lately there seems to be more of a trend towards not
having funerals when individuals die. Some of this stems
from the decisions that the person made before death and
some from the decisions of the family members after the
I think there are three main reasons why funerals are
held for individuals and three for why they are not
First the reasons why they are not held:
1. Finances - Funerals can be very expensive and often
families cannot afford to have them. The person who is
dying might even make a request that any estate that
exists not be used for a funeral.
2. Personal preference - Many people do not want a
"fuss" to be made when they die. They think that they
haven't accomplished anything or are not willing to have
others travel and get together in an uncomfortable
setting because of them. This may be especially true if
there is a great deal of travel involved for mourners.
3. Spiritual beliefs - Different cultures have different
beliefs and the individual therefore may choose to avoid
a service because of their own stance or lack of
On the other hand, funerals are usually held because:
1. Group grieving can bring support and relief to
individuals. Many times a funeral is the only way that
cousins and family members see each other. The funeral
allows them to share their memories and find comfort in
knowing that they are part of a family.
2. Community respect - Sometimes when a person has been
well-known, in a high-profile position or a good example
for others, a funeral is a way to honour that person and
set a further opportunity for others to be inspired by
them. Soldiers, for example, are given funerals in
respect of their commitment to fight for freedom.
3. Spiritual beliefs - When an individual has a strong
faith the family might view a funeral as an extension of
the person's life. It might also be a way to share that
faith and how s/he lived it out on earth with those who
attend the funeral.
There are several options that people have when it comes
to death. They might decide in advance to have a
memorial service, be cremated followed by a ritual for
spreading the ashes or even request that their loved
ones get together for a party or celebration.
Some people say that funerals are for the living. But if
you have lost a loved one, it is also important to
consider the wishes of the person who has died. Create a
plan that will respect them and the adventure that they
had in this world during their life.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free
Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to
Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit
From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and
Registered Social Worker