10 Reasons You MUST Have a Funeral

From celebrating a life at a traditional service to commiserating over stiff drinks and great food, funerals can be as austere or as extravagant as you’d like them to be.

Fellow funeral director extraordinaire Caleb Wilde explores the reasons why no matter how you do it, you absolutely have to have a funeral.

10 Reasons You MUST Have a Funeral
Many people tell me “I don’t want a funeral.  Just burn my ass and throw me in the woods.” But funerals are both much deeper, much more important and much broader than most of us assume. They’re neither “just for the living” nor must they be the traditional viewing, priest, eulogy and funeral director format (although none of these things are bad … especially the funeral director *wink* *wink*).  Funerals can be both deeply spiritual events and celebrations mixed with music, poetry and beauty.

Here are 10 things that give funerals both a deep and broad sense of meaning and value:

Individual Celebration / Mourning
The internet/Facebook/TV give us so many amazing stories.  And the negative is that they give us so many stories!  It’s like a smorgasbord of narratives and it’s easy for the individual to get lost among the celebrities, the pop sensations, the stars and the pro athletes.  But it’s the individuals that make our community run and their stories get overshadowed … except at funerals, when we can rope off the smorgasbord, turn down the volume, ignore Kim Kardashian’s latest stunt, turn our cell phones off and celebrate and mourn one life.

Hope infusion
Sigmund Freud stated that you have two choices: accept death or deny death. Freud also believed that religion was often a neurotic attempt to deny the reality of death. And, to some degree he’s right. But, when we look for hope, when we look for transcendence and when we look for immortality in the face of death, it doesn’t always fit into Freud’s binaries … it’s possible to accept death through some form of hopeful transcendent understanding of death.

Whether that hope is in heaven, or in the continuation of the deceased’s family or a more natural (i.e. green burial) type of orientation, or all of the above, it’s important that we find hope through the message of a funeral. Hope is what gives a funeral special meaning that helps us rise from the pits of darkness.

Value Affirmation
Death creates a hole in our lives and our world. It’s like an earthquake that shakes the world we once knew. Funerals are a time when we can reaffirm meaning, love, community, goodness and even humor. They allow us a space to come together and affirm that life is changed, but it still continues on.  Funerals are a storytelling practice that keeps the identity of our family alive even when one of our members has died.

Drunk Eulogies
In my many years as a funeral director, there are few things that are more gratifyingly awkward and entertaining than a spontaneous drunk eulogy.  Someday I’ll video one of these events, lawyer up and put it on YouTube.

Human dignity
To deny a person a funeral is to deny them an act of dignity.

Tony Walter writes “(funerals) mark that something valuable, a human life, has passed. Whatever else a funeral does or does not do, it must do this.”

This explains why so often impoverished and/or marginalized peoples will spend proportionately exorbitant amounts of money and time on the funerals of family and friends. They have been so devalued in life, that the funeral acts as one final statement of dignity. On the other hand, in a culture like the West — where we sit in social hegemony – we see less need for the dignity of a funeral; thus direct cremation, direct burial, etc..

Public acknowledgement of life and death
We like things to be private.  And there’s good reason. Being public with our opinions, our religious values and even our sports teams get’s messy.  But if we live in community, we die in community. And funerals give the community a time to come together an grieve, because …

Grief shared is grief diminished
The more we can share our grief, the more we can allow others to reach out to us, the more we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and accept help and love, the healthier we can walk through our bereavement.

Transition
On a psychological level, funerals and disposition (especially when the body is present), help us to see and accept death. Without a funeral that acknowledges the death of our loved ones, the dead can too easily become psychological ghosts.  Funerals transition the deceased from alive to dead, and help us on the path to accepting the death of a loved one.

Ritual
The walls of bereavement are very intimidating to even the spiritually and psychologically strong. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, you will fall and you will fail.

Unless you enter through the trodden paths of ritual.

The muscle memory of grief is ritual. Like the masterful pianist who makes impossible tasks seem natural, so ritual allows us to take the incredibly difficult task of mourning and gives us a way to persevere, even when it seems we shouldn’t.

Free food from post funeral luncheon
Aunt Eunice’s special potato salad.  Uncle Bob’s homemade mead.  Grandma’s collard greens.  Good Lord.  Pass the baked beans.

Article Source: http://www.calebwilde.com/2015/05/10-reasons-you-must-have-a-funeral/

Jessica, thank you very much for all your advice and patience and, most of all, for guiding us through this difficult time. All Cremation arrangements at Riverside Chapel were well planned . You are very kind and thank you very much. Also, thank you to everyone else at Basic Funerals and Riverside Cremation for your help.read more
sandy SAGAR
03:59 21 Aug 19
The meeting was very informative and casual. All our questions were answered in a professional manner. We did not feel pressured in any way. We are very happy with the arrangements.read more
Lina Elliot
22:51 15 Aug 19
Helpful, didn't try to push any thing on us.Very affordable.
marg lahey
02:18 08 Aug 19
My experience with Basic Funerals was excellent. My first contact was with Robin. She was easy to talk with and was very quick at returning emails, and phone calls. The pre planning process went smoothly as did the final arrangements. We went with the Basic package, cremation no service. Mailings arrived quickly. The information provided before and after was valuable and the cost of the package was considerably less than arrangements through other funeral homes. I feel comfortable in recommending this company to others in need of this service.read more
Ken Fryer
12:11 07 Aug 19
Allarrangements were handled professionalism and kindness. Jessica was lovely to deal with. The process was very efficient and the cost was reasonable, no or sure was at any time put on you to spend more than your decided you wanted which is not the case in most situations with funeral homes. I will pre arrange for myself and my husband's in the very near future.read more
Debbie Mastin
00:31 07 Aug 19
Robin was very helpful and patient with me on things I didn't understand. I appreciate that very much. Thank you, I have recommended Basic Funerals.
Verda Matthew
17:49 18 Jul 19
Very understanding and absolutely no attempt to sell us anything than we asked for. Professional and very kind.
Viv
10:42 16 Jul 19
Jessica B was very friendly and helpful
Aaron Hachie
17:22 03 Jul 19
Everyone was so helpful in dealing with my brother John's funeral.
Judy Costantini
22:57 13 May 19
During a difficult and emotional time the services we received were exactly what we wanted. There was no attempt at "up-selling" nor was there any sense that we were being guilted into making unaffordable or complex choices. Rather, we received careful attention and very professional responsiveness to our needs. I would absolutely recommend this service for anyone struggling with all of the many other details and emotional distress that follow the passing of a loved one.read more
Debra Macphail
17:18 06 Mar 19
Karoline was the front-line Funeral Director who looked after my wife's final needs. Although I was, at first skeptical, Karoline soon put my mind at ease and she created the type of service that Shelley desired and in a special location that I requested.Throughout the entire process, Karoline offered support and in the event we needed clarification, Karoline did not hesitate. She proved herself to be a valuable asset. to Classic Funerals but also to the family they served.read more
D.C. Mahoney
08:46 31 Jan 19
Robin was awesome to deal with and answered all of my questions. I only wished I know of basic funerals when I was pre arranging my mother's. I was told all sorts of lies by a funeral home.read more
joann guenette
20:04 06 Sep 18
Robin was very professional, knowledgeable, organized and helpful. Great customer service! Thank you.
Louise Viersen
20:40 20 Aug 18
We decided that we wanted to make our pre-planned funeral arrangements and had the pleasure of speaking to Robin. She sat down with us, and clearly outlined all of our options. She reviewed earlier cemetery arrangements with regard to our family plot and what we still required. We are both pleased and relieved that everything is in order and that the Executor of our estate will only have to call one number..read more
Soosy Q
19:29 24 Jul 18
Excellent customer service! Excellent prices! Convenient payment plans. Could not ask for more!
Jaden Winfree
20:08 21 Jun 18
I prearranged my own funeral all on line including payment etc..no muss no fuss....a great experience
John O'Hearn
19:38 24 Apr 18
Robin was very helpful!!! I feel very happy knowing my arrangements are done as per my wishes. This will be so helpful to my family when my time comes to depart this earth!read more
Sandra Stubbs
12:49 09 Apr 18
I contacted Basic Funerals & Cremation to pre-arrange services for my mother. I initially reached out for an appointment by email and received a very prompt reply. I set up the appointment via an email exchange and met with Robin at Basic F&C the following week. It was a very straightforward process and Robin went to great lengths to to explain and simplify the various options. I highly recommend Basic F&C for the ease of contact, arrangement and follow-up.read more
Rick Pringle
17:09 28 Mar 18
Very happy with their professional service. Quick to respond with any questions or concerns. Would highly recommend this company to anyone needing their service .read more
Gail Adamson
20:34 07 Feb 18
Convenient and respectful. This is the second time my family has used Basic Funerals and Cremations Choices. The first was 5 years ago when my father passed away and this time was for my brother. I didn't deal with Basic with my father's arrangements but my step-mother did and recommended them and honestly, I don't think I'd use anyone else moving forward. When we had word on my brother's terminal illness, I called 3 places to get quotes on the cremation he wanted. Let me preface this by saying that my brother said a Celebration of Life was acceptable but he didn't want a viewing or funeral so a cremation is what I was researching.Since this was my first time arranging such services, I had no idea what to expect. The first place (a local funeral home) quoted me $4000, so now I had a starting point. The second place (a local cremation facility) quoted me $1000 (wth? talk about a price difference!) but then stated I had to involve a separate "funeral home of my choice" for transfer services (huh?) and lastly I called Basic.Unlike the other two places I had called, Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices took the time to explain everything to me and offered to email me a quotation that contained all of the details. They offered me various packages to choose from depending on my needs and told me there was no pressure to decide now-I could decide when the time came. The three packages were Budget, Basic and Priority (I chose Priority and would recommend it for the slight price difference). They also confirmed that there would be no additional charges beyond what I was quoted (and there wasn't!).Unfortunately, it was a very short time after this call when their service was needed. I made the call to Basic and they took care of everything. They were incredibly professional the whole way through. From the initial phone call, to the follow-up call when my brother passed, to the young gentleman that came to deliver my brother's ashes and even follow-up calls, these people are top-notch.Basic Funerals and Cremations Choices took the worry out of making the arrangements. I have started recommending their service to friends and family and told my husband this is what I him to do want when my time comes.I'd like to end my review with a sincere thank you to Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices.read more
Connie P.
14:15 05 Feb 18
I was in need of immediate service and Basic Funerals were very helpful and right there tending to my request. The staff were very helpful and attentive to our needs. I would definitely recommend this service for anyone, thank you.read more
Don Mascarin
01:51 12 Jan 18
Our family lost a member who lived in Ontario while most of us are in Newfoundland. This could have caused a lot of confusion and extra expense that we did not need at this difficult time. Basic Funerals was amazing to deal with. Fast, clear, informative, inexpensive, and respectful of our wishes. We got the cremains in plenty of time for the funeral, as well as everything else we expected. I HIGHLY recommend Basic Funerals for anyone during this difficult time.read more
Communication was exemplary...clear, quick response times, helpful. I also appreciated the professional yet senstitive approach each person I spoke with had during our difficult time. One thing I very much appreciated was NO attempt to upsell whatsoever. Any tiny suggestion to get more money I would have not used their services and they never once did...very impressed by that.I was helped by David, Natasha and Kamilah and I was very happy with their customer service...I would highly recommend Basic Funerals.read more
Evangelina Coleman
19:47 12 Nov 17
My Mom had a prearranged plan with Basic Funerals at my recommendation. I found them on the internet and my Mom prearranged everything back in 2011. When my Mom passed we contacted Robin who was her Prearrangement Specialist and was extremely helpful from start to finish. I highly recommend Basic Funerals. Thank you so much Robin and staff for all your help at this difficult time!!!read more
Sandy J-Lee
18:13 12 Nov 17
Very helpful. Compassionate.
Nadine Kyle
13:59 12 Oct 17
Representatives on the phone and in person were so courteous, efficient and straight forward. It was a very difficult time for my elderly parents, and they made it so much easier and in ways enjoyable. Thank you Robin ans Stephanie for such professionalism ! The price is very affordable, no frills and up-selling. Highly recommended.read more
Dragana Skokovic-Sunjic
02:02 11 Oct 17
Prompt response. They understand and listened to your needs. Robin was extremely professionnal, caring and understood what I wanted in regards of my dad's pre-arrangements. It feels good to be understood. Robin was great and went above and beyond to provide me with a great service and no surprise in regards of the pricing.GREAT PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE.I would recommend highly BASIC FUNERALS.read more
Johanne Coshall
15:20 09 Oct 17
Basic Funeral and Cremation Choices was the right choice for my mother's cremation. I contacted Jessica a few days before the time and she provided a quotation after a few minutes on the phone. The quotation was exactly what we were looking for. The price was reasonable. Jessica was on site for the cremation and everything went as planned. I would highly recommend Jessica and her firm.read more
Ravi Aggarwal
16:13 05 Oct 17
Jessica, was wonderful She took her time walking my family through our options. The detailed information she provided was priceless. Guiding us through a very difficult time. This was the second time using her services. I'd definitely use Basic Funerals and Cremations again. Also considering prearrangement of my own aftercare services. Offering my family peace of mind that my wishes were already thought out and paid for!Louise Kruegerread more
Louise Munro
02:36 05 Oct 17
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