A funeral is ofen looked on with sad eyes and not recognised that there is so much more to it. There is a misconception I think that a funeral needs to be a day of sorrow and grief, and we all leave with tears in our eyes and a handkerchief nearby.
While there is great sadness for the lost, there also is the aspect of celebrating ones life as well as recognising the grief that goes with it.
Every funeral I have conducted, it has been the wish of the family that there is to be no fuss, and there is a need to recognise the great life that has been had by the person who has passed away.
Each person has a great story, and leaves a legacy, whether through family or achievements, or just being a loving person whose world was their families.
I always wondered what it would be like to do a families funeral, and recently I officiated my Uncles funeral. My relationship with my Uncle was very strong, while he lived miles away, we kept in regular contact discussing world problems as well as Rugby and Cricket.
Before the funeral I was hesitant about how I would be able to cope with the day, as I didn’t want to spoil things by shoowing emotion. I don’t believe it is my job to do this, but to set a scene where everybody feels comfortable in a difficult environment.
If there was ever going to be a day of showing how I really felt, it was going to be this day. I got through the funeral well myself, and had my time to grieve and reflect in a quiet moment by myself.
One of the real positives about being part of this day was seeing family I hadn’t seen for a number of years, and friends of my Uncle he often talked about.
Each funeral has its unique qualitues. One I did recently there was a lot of interaction between people during the funeral. There were laughs, jokes, and also a time for grieving. I feel like I have done my job if I have allowed for families and friends to be able to engage and reflect during this time. It was also encouraging to see so many people get up to speak about the person as well.
It is interesting as well how many of the funerals I have done that have asked that there is no religious aspects to the funeral, only to find that the funerals have The Lords Prayer as a part of the farewell. I think we all share that there is some hope somewhere, and while we may not have belief in a God, that there is hope that somewhere that the family is being looked down upon, and also that the deceased is in a better place, a place where there is no pain anymore.
I certainly believe that there is hope, and a place that we all go to when we pass away, and I take comfort in my faith that the person who passes away is loved and not alone.
Why do I love doing funerals? I think it is being part of someones life that I don’t necessarily know but get to know them speaking with family. I also am lucky to be part of the families and friends lives and have got to know them well enough to become friends as well.
I have been really honoured to be a part of a good many funerals now, and each one brngs something new. Each peron that passes away deserves to be sent off in a way that leaves something to all take away with them.
Grant Hobbs .