I was having a conversation this evening with a friend of mine about funerals, and how when he dies, he wants to have a big party, not a funeral.

While I like the spirit behind Funerals should be a celebration, I disagree. I used to think that this was a great idea until my father died. For the five days until the funeral, I was in this kind of haze of shock and depression. It didn't sink in and I couldn't be happy about anything. The funeral was absolutely horrible, I cried and cried and cried...but it was good for me. Funerals allow you to get all your grief out and start getting on with your life.

My friend stated that when his grandfather died, the funeral just made him more sad afterward because it reminded him to be sad, but I think that the fundamental difference in our outlooks is the difference in how close we were to the family member that died. I didn't have to be reminded to be sad, my father was a constant part of my life. I had lived with my mom and dad for my entire life, it was a loss that deeply affected all aspects of my life. If you are not very close to the deceased, the funeral may make you more sad, but for those extremely close to the deceased, the funeral is an essential part of the grieving process.

Having a party as a funeral is a nice idea, but I think it defeats the purpose of a funeral. A funeral is a place to cry and sob and be sad and say goodbye, so that you can be happy and celebrate another day.

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