Many people today don’t understand why we have funerals.  What we don’t understand we tend to be skeptical of.  Here are the top 5 misconceptions about funerals:

  1. Funerals Are Too Expensive – The social and emotional benefits of personalized funerals far outweigh their financial costs.  Besides, a funeral doesn’t have to be lavishly expensive to be meaningful.
  2. Funerals Are Barbaric – On the contrary, meaningful funeral ceremonies are civilized, socially binding rituals.  Some people think that viewing the body is barbaric.  Cultural differences aside, viewing has many benefits for survivors.
  3. Funerals Are Only For Religious People – Not true.  Non-religious ceremonies (which, by the way, don’t have to be held in a church or officiated by a clergy person) can still help mourners begin to heal.
  4. Funerals Should Reflect What The Person Who Has Died Wanted – Yes and no.  While pre-planning your funeral may help you reconcile yourself to your own mortality, funerals are primarily for the benefit of the living.
  5. Funerals Are Only For Grown-Ups – Anyone old enough to love is old enough to mourn.  Children, too, have the right and the privilege to attend funerals.