This may seem a strange question, but these days too often we are urged to simply dispose of the body of a loved one – ‘just cremate me’, ‘get over it’, ‘have a party’ and ‘move on’ – rather than dealing with the reality and pain of the loss we have experienced. Research has shown that how we say goodbye to a loved one, and the experience surrounding this, can impact us positively or negatively for the rest of our life.
The often rushed, so-called ‘new way to funeral’ does not meet the emotional needs of grief by taking mourners through the vital steps towards healing. Instead that loss is minimised, offered a ‘quick fix’, leaving the pain of sadness and separation unadressed.
At Burstows, we know that for a funeral to be effective it must meet four needs, which we call the 4 Rs: REALISE – REMEMBER – RECEIVE – RELEASE. Addressing these does not lead to closure, but does start the journey towards healing and taking the first steps towards a life without your loved one physically present.
Aspects of the funeral experience help mourners truly accept that the death is real. Planning the funeral, talking about the death itself, choosing the coffin, music, photos, spending time with the body, gathering with others, and the ceremony itself, all help us to acknowledge the reality of the death. Without this acknowledgement, it is impossible to truly move forward with your future life.
A helpful funeral experience will embrace many opportunities for those grieving to reflect and remember. As funeral directors, we find families often laugh as well as cry as they remember aspects of their loved one’s life. This occurs both during discussions arranging a funeral, as well as while sharing stories of that person, their life, and what made them special at the funeral itself.
The funeral is a special time and place to support one another in grief. That is why we say that while the funeral is about the deceased, it is for the living. While the form may differ, gathering together to honour the departed at the time of death, and share our grief has been an important part of societies worldwide throughout history.
Finally, the funeral helps survivors to release or say goodbye to their loved one. It acknowledges that the relationship of physical presence has ended but does so in a supportive and loving environment. It helps us to embrace the love and qualities of that person which we can continue to carry with us.
The 5th R – Respect
At Burstows respect is a vital element of all our dealings with both your loved one and yourself. We do not outsource our services to third parties as online operators without any form of facility, mortuary, transfer vehicle or personal contact do.
We will transfer your loved one into our care at any hour of the day or night, and provide personal guidance to ensure you understand the options open to you. We can discuss funeral arrangements at your own home or at our premises, and help you through the necessary preparations, including all required documentation and applying for a certified copy of the death certificate.
We also respect that everyone’s grief is individual and offer a non-intrusive professional grief support service which will keep in touch over the coming year as much or as little as feels right for you. It’s all part of Burstows understanding that funerals are important because life is important.