Making Funerals Honest

By: Moles Farewell Tributes
Monday, April 22, 2019

At funerals in Burlington, WA funeral homes, it's not uncommon to, in the days of tumultuous grief following the death of a loved one, suddenly see them in unrealistic terms. We tend to wrap our loved ones up in superlatives, ignoring their humanity and our own, that make them larger than life. But we aren't being honest about them or with ourselves when we do this. 

To say things about our loved ones like that they were the most awesome people ever and that they never complained about anything is our default way to describe our deceased loved ones. And, yet, it's not true. If we're human, we have complained about something somewhere in our lives. While we may be striving to be good and decent people, none of us – not even our deceased loved ones – are the most awesome people. 

When we use phrases like this, we make our loved ones larger than life and we miss the endearing humanity of the lives they actually lived. While we don't want to hang out all the dirty laundry of their lives, we should strive for an honest portrayal of their struggles, their ups and downs, their successes and their failures, and, in the process, show the places where they beat the odds, overcame the obstacles, and moved forward at times when it didn't like they had any place to go. 

We should talk about how they did this, because there are the lessons for all the rest of us – those who are listening among the mourners – and these stories, true, honest and forthright, can inspire us, because we have struggles, ups and downs, and successes and failures as well. 

Hearing how our deceased loved ones met the challenges that life brought gives not only gentle instruction, but also hope that we too will be successful in meeting the challenges presented to us in our own lives. When we drop the mythological phrases and presentations of our loved ones, we see the real human story. We find places in their lives that mirror places in our own lives and we may find, from their examples, a different perspective, another avenue to try, or a unique approach that may change the course of own lives. 

Funerals are not just for comfort, for support, and for encouragement, although those are all very important aspects of why we have the funeral rituals that we do. They should be classrooms where we can learn from those that have gone on before us. Maybe we didn't listen as closely as we should have to their stories when they were alive. Maybe their stories didn't seem all that important when they were still with us. 

But death suddenly brings all that history of the loved ones who've died to the forefront. Those histories suddenly take on new meaning as we focus on them as we grieve and we remember and we honor the people we love. The nuggets of wisdom, experience, and understanding come out of our retrospection and they are worth sharing, not just to show respect for our deceased loved ones, but also to pass on to other. We never know who among the mourners may need to hear the real stories of a real human being, so that they can move forward in their own lives. 

Be kind, but be honest. 

For additional information about funerals in Burlington, WA funeral homes, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Cremations – Bayview Chapel is here to help. You can stop by our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can contact us today at (360) 733-0510.  

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

A Guide to Funeral Services Terminology

Lynden, WA funeral services include a lexicon of words and terms that most of us don’t use in our daily lives and that we may not know the meaning of. Understanding them will make it easier for us ...

The Best Way to Give Condolences

During funerals at funeral homes in Mount Vernon, WA, one of the things that mourners do, in addition to paying their respects to the deceased, is to offer words of encouragement and support to the...

Is There Closure after Death?

After cremation services in Mount Vernon, WA and family and friends return to their homes, jobs or schools, and lives, the deep part of grieving begins. Although there is much talk about closure af...

Celebrities and Funeral Preplanning

There may be a few celebrities seeking Mount Vernon, WA funeral services now so that all the arrangements for their funerals are in place when they die. However, a lot of celebrities don't preplan ...

Cremation Facts 101

Knowing what Blaine, WA cremation services are available and what is involved in cremations can assist you when you're preplanning your own funeral or you are making funeral arrangements for a love...

What to Send After Someone Dies Instead of Flowers

Usually with cremations in Bellingham, WA, flowers will be sent if there's a funeral service or if there is a memorial service for the deceased. While flowers are beautiful, the sad reality is that...

How Death and Dying Have Changed Over Time

When thinking about Lynden, WA funeral services, it's often beneficial to consider the history of death and dying in the United States and just how much it has changed, especially in the last 100 y...

Grief and Personal Rituals

After Mount Vernon, WA cremations, the initial awareness of the deep grief from the loss of a loved one set in. Joan Didion expressed it well in her book about the year after her husband's sudden d...

What are Whole-Family Cemeteries?

With funerals at funeral homes in Burlington, WA, a lot of people are requesting that their pets buried beside them when they die. Pets have become a equal part of the family in our society, with m...