What Should I Expect At My First Funeral?
What Should I Expect At My First Funeral

Funerals can help you cope with the loss of a loved one. The following is a list of what should I expect at my first funeral.

What Should I Expect At My First Funeral?

It is never easy to lose a loved one. You will most likely feel grief and loss after the death of someone close to you. People cope with their grief in a variety of ways, including through the use of healing rituals.

A funeral is a common ceremony that people follow. A funeral is a ceremonial gathering of friends and family to honor a deceased individual. What happens at the funeral is determined by the deceased person’s cultural practices, religious beliefs, and preferences.

A funeral may include the following:

  • Awake or a visitation (set hours to view the body and visit the family)
  • A funeral or a celebration of life (a less formal gathering to commemorate the person who has died)
  • A cemetery burial (the coffin/casket is buried in an underground grave)
  • A parade or procession (attendees drive or walk to where the body will be laid to rest).
  • A burial is a process of interring a dead person’s body in an above-ground grave (such as a tomb).
  • Another ritual of death.

The funeral is usually held shortly after the death and may last one or more days.

Here are some funeral expectations and considerations:

1. Range Of Emotions

You may notice and/or experience a variety of emotions. Everyone grieves differently and expresses their grief in different ways. They may cry, laugh, grin, or remain expressionless or silent. You might also see folks displaying emotions they normally don’t (e.g. you may see an adult in your life cry for the first time at a funeral). When a loved one passes away, there is no right or wrong way to react. It’s critical to express your thoughts and feelings in a style that seems natural to you.

2. See The Body That Died

You may or may not be able to see the body of the deceased person at the funeral, depending on the family’s beliefs. There is sometimes an open coffin/casket where you can see and/or touch the body. You may not remember the body the way you do (they may have their eyes closed, be wearing makeup, have a vacant look, etc.). Other times, the body will be represented by a closed/casket, a photograph or slide show of the deceased, or no representation at all. If the body was cremated (turned to ashes), you may discover an urn (a container for the ashes that is sealed). Before the burial, someone involved in the event can give an overview of what to anticipate (a friend, family member, etc.).

3. Offering Condolences

Condolences are when individuals say things like “I’m sorry for your loss” or other pleasant words to express their sorrow. It’s fine to simply say “thank you” or to remain silent. Others may reach out to shake your hand or embrace you. You only need to do what makes you feel at ease.

4. Participate In Funeral

You may be able to speak at the funeral, which may include speeches, music, poems, eulogies (a homage to the deceased), or other readings. It’s fine if you want to say a few words, simply listen, or leave the room if necessary. You might be requested to be a pallbearer (a person who helps carry the casket/coffin), meet other attendees, join in prayer, sit/stand in a specified spot, or contribute in another way. It’s fine to inquire about your position at the funeral or to decline anything you don’t want to undertake.

5. See The Expensive Funeral

Some funerals are more elaborate than others; they’re a little more formal and involve formal proceedings, while others are less so. Several funerals attract a large number of community members, while others attract only close family and friends. You can be interacting with folks you’ve met before or meeting someone for the first time.

6. It Takes A Different Time

Funerals occur at various times or locations. Depending on the sort of service. The service may take place at a funeral home, church, burial site, mausoleum/tomb, or somewhere else, depending on the family’s beliefs. After the funeral, there may be a reception or party. You can ask a friend or family member for advice if you’re not sure where to go, what to do/say, or what to wear.

7. Traditional Or Religious

Some funerals include additional traditional/religious customs, such as people wearing traditional garb or clothing of the same color. During the proceedings, religious rites or other activities may take place. People (such as religious leaders) may be seen lighting candles, scattering ashes, praying, giving blessings, providing flowers/gifts, and other activities.

8. Ask For Support

It’s fine to ask for help: whether it’s before, during, or after the funeral, it’s critical to obtain assistance if you require it. You can share your feelings with a friend, relative, or other responsible adults. (They might be feeling the same way you are.) You might find it beneficial to bring someone else to the funeral for support (e.g., a buddy who isn’t personally affected by the loss). You can always reach out to a Kids Help Phone counselor (even at the funeral in privacy).

If no arrangements have been made in advance, survivors must plan services before the funeral can take place.

This involves deciding on a funeral home with whom to coordinate services. A funeral ceremony is usually planned in less than a week. A memorial service home, on the other hand, can help you plan your funeral in accordance with your wishes. In addition to managing the transfer of the deceased, a funeral home will assist you in filling out the death certificate form and filing it with the appropriate parties.

Once these items are completed, a staff member will go over your burial and cremation options with you. You’ll decide together on the sort of service (for example, funeral, gathering, memorial service, and/or visitation), as well as your personalized choices (ex: memorial folders, flower arrangements, video tributes, and more).

After that, you’ll call your immediate family and friends. Include details regarding the date, venue, and time of the scheduled service, as well as any pre-or post-service events, when informing individuals of the death. You’ll also want to name the charity if you’re accepting donations instead of flowers.

Final Thoughts

It’s helpful to have an idea of what happens before, during, and after a funeral or memorial ceremony, whether you’re making plans for a loved one who has passed away or attending ceremonies for a family member or acquaintance.

A funeral ceremony, like any other social occasion, can bring a unique set of obstacles, especially if you have no idea what to anticipate when you attend.

We present an outline of what happens before, during, and after a funeral to help you and your family prepare.