Funerals: why they matter

Some Australians are beginning to question the need for a funeral. Here's why they matter.

Attitudes towards death and dying are becoming more pragmatic

As attitudes to death and dying become more pragmatic, some people are beginning to question the need for a funeral. However, it’s worth noting that the ritual of a send off is an important part of the grieving process.

While it’s not uncommon to hear people comment, somewhat flippantly, “I’ll be dead anyway, who cares if I have a funeral,” the reality is that a lot of people care. Funerals give friends and loved ones of someone who has died the chance to celebrate their life and to reach out to those who need supporting through their grief or indeed, receive some much needed support themselves.

Importantly, a funeral is about saying goodbye. Whether it’s someone you’ve known for a long time or have only recently met, saw every day or haven’t been in touch with for a long time, the need for a recognised farewell is strong.  A funeral is not for the person who has died, it’s about them and as such, it’s a reflection of their lives, loves and achievements.

Many of us may even remember our parents and grandparents commenting that the funeral they had just attended was, ‘a great day out’. This was generally as it had given them the chance to catch up with friends and family they may not usually see and reminisce about the good times they had shared with the deceased.

The focus of a funeral should be about celebrating the life of the deceased, while recognising the impact their death will have on the lives of other. This acknowledgement is important to allow the grieving process to commence. Only by accepting what you have lost, are you truly able grieve and begin to move on with your life without that person. This is what a funeral enables you to do.

Even researchers and psychologists recognise the importance of a funeral in not only assisting the grieving process by giving an opportunity to say goodbye, but also in reinforcing the fact that the death has actually happened. Denial of a death is a common barrier to dealing with grief.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that a funeral or celebration of someone’s life doesn’t need to be formal or elaborate affair. While some faiths and religions have certain rites that are often adhered to, a simple gathering in a favourite spot, backyard barbeque or graveside service is all perfectly acceptable ways of celebrating a life. Making it personal by choosing your favourite music, reading or even joke and sharing it with the person who will be arranging your send off, will ensure your funeral really does matter.

One way to ensure that you get the funeral you want is to arrange it yourself and perhaps consider prepaying to secure your funeral at today's prices and save your family the financial burden.

White Lady Funerals has helped many families to ensure the farewell for a loved one is a true reflection of who the person was and what they meant to others. Preplanning a funeral with White Lady means you can create your funeral to reflect your wishes and help take the burden away from those you love at a difficult time. To request more information, visit


    To make a comment, please register or login
    22nd Jul 2016
    Personally I'd like to avoid a show and cost to my estate. Sort of partial to the blood and bone machine and being scattered on a lovely part of the garden. The Hiawatha legacy!
    20th Jul 2017
    Mick that s your choice and ensure you have it in writing for people to respect your wishes
    20th Jul 2017
    Mick that s your choice and ensure you have it in writing for people to respect your wishes

    22nd Jul 2016
    I know this article is a marketing one, but it hasn't changed my mind.

    I no longer live anywhere near where I grew up, so a number of friends have died with me not going to their funerals. I feel no gap in my life.
    22nd Jul 2016
    So long as you don't make somebody the executor of your will and you have so little it ends up costing them.
    22nd Jul 2016
    Mick I understand where your coming from with your comment(I feel the same way)but my best friend died in a accident last week & I didnt know about it until a couple of days ago.I wasnt able to attend his funeral which has been on my mind since,what im trying to say is that although Im not a religious person I still would have liked to pay my respects especially to his family.
    By the way enjoyed your comments on home ownership Cheers
    22nd Jul 2016
    Dislike intensely that this column is an add for White Lady Funerals
    22nd Jul 2016
    I agree with you Justsay'n
    24th Jul 2016
    I agree.
    23rd Jul 2016
    Was talking to the Toyboy the other day and we have decided when either of us die we would arrange a private cremation and then inform the rellies as we only seem to see them when they want something. May ask our friends to snag sizzle on the estate to remember to good times.
    23rd Jul 2016
    Agree something needs to be done, funeral or otherwise cos the cadaver will begin to offend other folks olfactory senses after a coupla days, although then I wouldn't know for sure that I'm on the nose ! RIP
    23rd Jul 2016
    The people around this area refuse to fund the funeral industry and have opted for straight to the crematorium. No service, no fuss, no frills. Sometimes there is a small get together a month or so later .. a back yard get together but mostly nothing. The whole lot is done for around $1000.00 plus legals etc. All the other monies going to beneficiaries of the will.
    20th Jul 2017
    People should prepare their own funerals and at least have it in writing so the loved ones left behind can respect your last wishes on earth,When you make out a will your wishes as to where and how you would line to be at the end
    are included
    4th Aug 2017
    I agree KB. That's good advice.
    4th Aug 2017
    Conversations around death should also include your funeral wishes. A new funeral planning website eziFunerals provides you with independent, trustworthy and transparent support. Your'e in total control! They empower consumers to control the whole process. Funeral Homes provide you with itemised quotes and compete for your business saving you time, money and unecessary grief.

    Tags: funerals, death, dying,

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