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Why Have a Funeral Service

Published: March 30, 2024

When a loved one passes, one of the first questions that often gets asked is when the funeral will be held. It’s assumed that a funeral will be the way in which family and friends say a final farewell, but do you have to have a funeral? While no law makes it so that you have to hold a funeral in a loved one’s honor, you may want to consider what you could miss out on when you decide against a funeral.

4 Reasons You Should Have a Funeral Service for a Loved One

1. Funeral services give people a chance to say goodbye.

Many people loved your loved one. And funerals create a space where those people from all different walks of life can come together and say goodbye to someone who mattered to them. Saying a farewell to a beloved someone should not be overlooked. We often make the mistake of thinking that a funeral will offer closure, but it’s not closure that a funeral brings. Searching for closure in regards to someone’s passing is futile because the memory of our loved one will never leave us. What’s more fruitful is seeing a funeral as a door opening toward a world without your loved one physically by your side. We may be afraid to step through that door, but having the chance to say goodbye can give us a little push through the threshold.

Funerals are a place of collective mourning. There’s strength in knowing that you’re not saying goodbye alone. You’ll walk through the door of the new world hand-in-hand with your fellow funeral-goers. If you choose to organize a funeral for a loved one, you’re helping not only your own grieving process but the grieving of everyone else who your loved one loved.

2. They create an opportunity for people to support one another.

Funerals also create a place for those funeral-goers to find support in one another. Although you may think that you’re comfortable with the idea of mourning alone, you may find that being around others lifts you up while grief is holding you down. Funerals are a time and place of reconnection, where you’ll meet people who truly want to help you, even if they’re not people you know very well. Funerals aren’t an end to the support you’ll receive. Instead, they are a starting place. Funerals offer a place for help to be planned. While you’re grieving the loss of your loved one, many aspects of day-to-day life may fall through the cracks. The people who come out to say goodbye to your loved one have also come out to support those your loved one left behind, like yourself.

And support doesn’t have to be physical. It may be kind that a family member you haven’t seen in a decade or more is offering to help you with childcare, but the emotional support may be what helps the most. At a loved one’s funeral, you’ll likely see family and friends you may not have seen in a long time. You’ll hear stories about your loved one’s prankster nature as a teenager, about the way that they wooed their future spouse, and about all the things that made your loved one who they were. Those stories will create an even stronger image of your loved one, a full portrait complete with the sides of them you didn’t get to see.

What’s more, you’ll also be able to take comfort in knowing that your loved one was so loved. Seeing family, friends, colleagues, and even simply acquaintances, some you know but likely many you don’t, will show you just how full of a life your loved one lived. Your loved one’s memory will live on through you, but it’ll also live on through all the other lives your loved one touched.

3. They honor your loved one’s memory.

One of the best things about planning a funeral is that it’s customizable. No two funerals are the same because no two lives lived are the same. When you work with a funeral home, you can discuss all the ways you’d like your loved one’s personality and interests to be included in their funeral. From incorporating beloved items into displays to organizing military honors for veterans, there’s no limit to the way in which you can honor your loved one’s memory. Funeral directors will always do their best to accommodate your wishes. Even if you think your idea is a little outlandish, you never know what a funeral director may be able to do.

4. They can begin the healing process.

For many people, funerals are a ritual for a reason. It’s challenging to begin to grieve without this ritual taking place. Funerals confirm that someone has passed. That acknowledgment is crucial to starting the grieving process. We often think of mourning as being a negative word. No one wants to mourn. But the reality is that mourning and grieving are healthy. They allow people to process their loss and come to terms with a new world without the person they love. Funerals give people a point at which they can come to comprehend how this new world is developing.

Although the five stages of grief aren’t an exact science and have been debunked many times over, denial and acceptance are still two common actions that happen during the grieving process. When we hear that a loved one has passed, we often don’t want to believe it. Consciously or unconsciously, we may reject the idea that the person we loved would no longer be in our lives. But it becomes harder to hold onto that false reality when funerals happen. Being given the chance to say goodbye, perhaps even to see our loved one a final time, helps us to pave the way toward acceptance. Funerals don’t end the grieving process, but they can be an important milestone on the path to accepting a loved one’s passing.

A funeral is a bonding experience, a chance to say goodbye, a place to start healing, and an occasion to honor your loved one’s memory, all wrapped into one event. Although you may not have to hold a funeral, you should carefully consider what you could miss if you don’t. Not only is holding a funeral beneficial to you, but it’s also good for those others who will miss your loved one, giving them a ceremony that helps in their own grieving process. Funerals symbolize the start of a time without your loved one in your life. Enter that time with the support of family and friends by your side while you celebrate your loved one’s life together.

Vitt, Stermer & Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services has been serving the families of Cincinnati with respect and professionalism since 1899. They provide quality funeral, burial, cremation and memorial services as well as special services for veterans from their locations in Delhi and Cheviot. They also provide options to pre-plan and pre-pay for your final wishes in advance. Learn more at


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