Wednesday, July 7, 2021

After A Funeral: What's Next?

After the Funeral:  What's Next?
After the Funeral:  What's Next?

There are a lot of busy tasks to be done right after someone dies such as making contact with friends and relatives, settling accounts, and preparing for the funeral.  However, once all of the “things” have been taken care of and the well-wishers have faded, you may find yourself alone with your grief.

It is natural to feel as if your life has come to a full halt while everyone else's goes on after the initial intensity of burying a loved one. You have been changed for the rest of your life, but the world does not adjust its plans or speed because of you.

Here we look at some of the things that you can do after a funeral to help you move on and continue to live your life without a loved one.

After A Funeral: What's Next?

After A Funeral: What's Next?

Continue to grieve.

The funeral itself can be a significant milestone in the grief process, allowing loved ones to find closure. The funeral, on the other hand, does not mark the end of the grieving process; rather, it marks the end of one aspect of it.

You shouldn't expect to be able to quit mourning the next day. In fact, the stress and confusion of planning a funeral may have delayed your grief, and you may just be beginning to grieve now that the service has ended. Remind yourself that this is a normal part of the process. The grieving process can take years but even when it feels like it is over, it does not mean that you have forgotten your loved one.

As you work through the grieving process, remember that for the Christian, death is not the end.  Those who have chosen to make Jesus their Lord and follow Him never really die, but they live forever in Heaven.  Consider the following Bible verses about death and dying.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. - John 3:16

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose from the deadso also God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 4:14

And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this? - John 11:26

For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23

And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. - Revelation 221:4

Those are only a few of the many comforting verses you'll find in the Bible about death and dying to bring you comfort after losing a loved one.

Send thank you cards.

Another important job after the funeral is to send thank you cards or flowers to those who were the most supportive following your passing. It is customary to send a thank you note to those who assisted you in planning the funeral or who played a vital part on the day of the funeral.

Scatter your loved ones ashes.

Cremations have become increasingly popular and studies show that many people would rather have their ashes scattered. However, if they don’t, and want them kept in a special place, you will probably want to organize engraved plates for their urn.

If they want to be scattered, there is no immediate rush to do so. Think about where they would like their ashes to be scattered and find somewhere that means something to both you and them that would bring you comfort to visit in the future.

Reach out to your friends and family.

Make sure you surround yourself with the people you love to help you move on with your life after losing a loved one. It is normal to treasure your time with these people much more after losing a loved one. Spend time together to console one another during this difficult time. If the people who surround you are also hurting from the loss, they might need your shoulder to lean on as much as you need theirs.

Organize the death certificate and inform everyone who needs to know.

You will probably have started this process immediately after the death and before the funeral, but it is still a process that might continue after the funeral. There is a possibility that the departed had a variety of arrangements, memberships, and bank accounts with many organizations. You will need to utilise the death certificate to notify these parties of the death so that they can cancel accounts, stop regular payments, and possibly transfer assets. Think outside the box - there may be magazine subscriptions, TV subscriptions, and gym memberships, for example, that need canceling.

Consider organizing some sort of memorial.

Some people like to frame photos and make a special place in their homes to remember a loved one who has passed away. Others prefer to have a bench put in their loved one’s favorite spot, as somewhere people can go and sit and remember them. You could also look at planting a tree or a rose bush in their memory.

Continue with your life.

While it is reasonable that you will want to withdraw from daily life as you grieve and come to terms with your loss, you should strive to keep up with your interests and social obligations. Taking your mind off the death is not the same as not caring or grieving and it is something that should be encouraged.

Reach out to the professionals.

There's no shame in seeking professional help if you are taking all the correct steps but the grieving process is getting the best of you. We all grieve in our own unique ways and at various times. If you want to receive the necessary support or counseling to help you get through this difficult time in your life, you should do so.  If you aren't sure where to find counseling, let me suggest your church pastor.  Many church pastors counsel church members and non members after the death of a loved one.  In larger churches, the deacons or elders will often offer counseling.  Many churches like the one I attend offer special group support where you will find comfort and support in a group setting with others who are also hurting.   Sometimes, church leadership will refer people to a local Christian counseling agency where they will find professional help from those who have obtained college and seminary degrees in Christian Family Counseling and Grief Counseling.  Please don't be shy about finding extra help if you need it.

After A Funeral: What's Next?
After A Funeral: What's Next?

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