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You may already be familiar with the saying that “death is a part of life…” Having to say goodbye to people we love is part of our life’s journey.

And while it doesn’t make the loss any easier to bear, the ritual of a funeral is an important step in a healing process.  People don’t necessarily get over grief, but a funeral or memorial service does help those left bereft to move forward and through grief.  

Funeral ceremonies serve a number of purposes: they acknowledge that someone we love has died, provide a chance to say goodbye, a time to offer support and be supported by family and friends, a reflection of hope and continuity for the living, and a chance to contemplate the meaning of life and death. 


Losing someone we love can feel unreal and bring on strong physical and emotional symptoms. There are no timeframes for managing these and feelings of sorrow and unreality can linger and ambush us; it’s as though an essential part of ourselves is missing.

Holding a funeral ceremony helps those left behind as we begin to understand the measure of our loss, while the physical farewell can help us move towards eventual acceptance as we move from grief to mourning. 


During times of sadness, most of us feel the need to share our emotions and feelings, to talk about the deceased and pay tribute to their memory and the impact they had on those around them. A funeral provides an opportunity for that emotional release, helping us come to terms with our emotions.

Celebrating and Honouring

Funerals often reflect our cultural beliefs, our history and life experience, and for most of us, that reflection is an important part of the grieving process. Funerals can be a way of acknowledging a life that has been lived and an opportunity to look ahead with hope.


The coming together of family and friends during a time of deep sadness can provide much-needed support and comfort to those left behind. Writing a eulogy or a reflection is a chance to share stories of the person who has passed on, and acknowledge the important contribution they had in the lives of others.

A ceremony to fit your wishes

A funeral ceremony is a time for family and friends to express their love for and mourn the deceased. It’s also the first important step in dealing with grief and adjusting to life without the person they’ve lost.

Members of the Celebrants Association who perform funerals listen with empathy to create a ceremony that will reflect your family’s wishes. And while they work closely with funeral directors, they can provide independent funeral and memorial services as well.  If you’d like advice about planning a funeral ceremony to honour the person you’ve lost, get in touch with CANZ.