Funerals Are For The Living, Not The Dead

I am surprised by the number of people who do not attend funerals, for one reason or another. I always wonder if these people ever stop & think about whether or not the deceased would have wanted them there or are they only thinking about their own disdain for funerals.

Here are some of the top reasons I’ve heard as to why people don’t go to funerals:

  • “I don’t like being around dead people/Funerals creeps me out.” – Okay, that’s a fair point but no one says you have to go up & touch the dead body. You don’t even have to see the body at all. Just sit in the rear of the funeral home (or church) and skip the wake altogether.
  • “The dead don’t know I’m here. What difference does it make whether or not I go?” – No, of course they don’t but the relatives of the deceased do. That’s really the whole point of funerals – to provide the survivors with solace as they lay their loved ones to rest. How can you not show up for your friend’s last appearance? People need support when they have to plan a funeral & as they go through the grieving process. This comfort can come in many ways but showing your support by attending the funeral service is a great way.
  • Funerals are too sad. I would rather remember them the way they were.” – I actually think that going to a funeral is one of the best ways to remember a person “the way they were”. The funeral is a time when people tell some of their fondest memories of the deceased. Old stories, funny anecdotes, and kind words are usually a part of any eulogy or funeral service. Hearing good things about someone who is now gone is the best way to remember that person “the way they were.”
  • “I don’t like going to church” – Seriously? You’re not attending a regular church service, so it’s not really like going to church. I don’t like sitting in the hot sun in a football stadium because I think the bleachers are dirty & there’s gum stuck everywhere but if my friend’s college graduation was there I would go. It’s not about the place, it’s about the person.


I think people who don’t attend funerals are selfish. It’s not about you! The funeral is for the survivors. Think about your own family when you die – wouldn’t you want someone at your service to comfort & support them? I know I would.

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