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The Impact of Coronavirus on Funerals

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    Alterations are going to be made to the regulations governing funerals and other commemorative events, such as ceremonies involving the setting of stones, the scattering of ashes, and wakes.

    At this time, the number of people who attend a funeral is determined by the maximum number of mourners that the location can safely house while maintaining an appropriate level of social distance. At this time, the number of guests that are permitted to attend a commemorative event is limited to a maximum of thirty.

    As of the 21st of June, the law will no longer impose a limit on the number of people who can participate in funerals or commemorative events. Instead, the number of attendees will be based on how many people the indoor or outdoor space can safely accommodate given the presence of social distancing measures. This determination will be made based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue or outdoor space, as well as the preventative measures that have been taken to limit the spread of COVID-19.

    Activities taking place in COVID-secured venues, such as a house of worship or a venue for hospitality

    Your venue manager will need to inform you of the maximum number of people who will be able to attend your event in a COVID-secure venue in which the premises are operated or used by a business, a charitable, benevolent, or philanthropic institution, or a public body (such as a place of worship or a hospitality venue). You can get assistance with planning a funeral for a loved one by consulting the extensive list of Melbourne Funeral Services that we provide. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funeral Directors are here to help make the funeral process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.

    The Importance Of Funerals

    When someone passes away without leaving behind any instructions, a lot of people decide against holding a funeral for them. However, prior to making such a decision, you should give some thought to the part that funerals play in the process of dealing with grief.

    In the end, it should be up to the individual to decide whether or not to hold a funeral service. But unfortunately, there are situations in which a person passes away without leaving any instructions regarding their desired funeral arrangements. In these kinds of circumstances, you should give some thought to what he or she might have desired. Get everyone in the family on the same page regarding the funeral arrangements that should be made.

    When making these decisions, make sure to think about all of the funeral services available to you. In recent years, it has become common practise for there to be no service of any kind. Even though this could save the family time and money, attending a funeral or memorial service for the person who has passed away is often considered to be an important step in the healing process.

    Recognition of the deceased is important because:

    • It brings home the harsh reality that a loved one has passed away.
    • It gives people the opportunity to acknowledge and talk about the loss they've experienced.
    • It gives family members and friends the opportunity to engage with the community in their new roles (e.g., widower).
    • It provides an encouraging setting in which individuals can reexamine the meanings they have assigned to life and death.
    • It provides support for the group by bringing those present together to share a common experience.

    5 Purposes of a Funeral

    We have to grieve, we have to say our goodbyes, we have to be with other people so that we can give and receive support, and we have to say some kind of goodbye, even if it's just a simple one, so that we can get through this.

    It is possible for us to grossly underestimate the significance that a funeral can have for us. They understood that we have a need to acknowledge what the person meant to us and know that they have been respectfully 'laid to rest.' As a result, all cultures have developed rituals to honour their dead ever since the beginning of time. Some of these rituals date back thousands of years.

    When someone passes away, the funeral is not for the deceased, but rather it is about the deceased. Everyone who knew, loved, or was connected to the deceased is invited to attend the funeral services. This is an uncomplicated truth.

    The term "funeral" may misrepresent the wishes of some individuals, who would prefer a more straightforward send-off. You are not required to refer to it as a funeral; instead, you can call it a muster, a gathering, a tribute, a farewell, a ceremony, a send-off, a get-together, or whatever else you feel is most appropriate.

    Reality

    When we lose someone we care about, our minds and hearts fight against the reality of the situation at first. We refuse to acknowledge that the person we cared about is no longer here with us. The first and most important goal of a funeral is to assist the living in coming to terms with the inevitability of death. Acceptance of what has transpired is a prerequisite to both healing and the process of mourning. Mourners have the opportunity to confront reality and start working through their grief when they attend a funeral that is meaningful and healing. The funeral does not mark the end of the journey through grief; rather, it marks the beginning of the journey. We have to find a way to accept our new reality, which is one in which our loved one is no longer in it.

    Recall

    Remembering the deceased person is an important part of a funeral service and should not be overlooked. This is demonstrated in the eulogy, the tribute video (if there is one), the songs or readings that are selected, as well as the gathering of friends and family that takes place after the service. Remembering and talking about our past experiences with loved ones is a helpful way to get through the grieving process. We start the process of shifting our relationship with the person who has died from one based on their presence to one based on their memory. Before we can move forwards in our grief journeys, we first need to go backwards into our memories and reflect on happier times.

    Support

    The funeral also serves the purpose of mobilising support, which is the third purpose. We get together with other people who knew our loved one when we attend their funeral. We are able to offer one another support by talking about our experiences, giving expression to our emotions, and sharing our memories. Mourners have the opportunity to come together and offer a listening ear and a comforting hug when the funeral includes a visitation or a gathering. When there is no memorial service held, friends and family members may withdraw their support out of respect for the family's desire to grieve in private. During this difficult time, however, friends, family, and neighbours will be able to offer their compassionate support if the funeral is open to the public.

    Expression

    We have the capacity to feel because we are human beings. When we have strong feelings but choose to ignore or repress them, those feelings have the potential to become intolerable and may even begin to fester. Funerals are intended to serve as a secure environment in which we can freely express our thoughts and feelings to one another. The first step towards recovery is taking responsibility for our mental and emotional state and acting on it. It's possible that you need to talk to someone, cry, or even just sit quietly with someone who cares for you. Expression, in whatever form it may take, is an essential component of a funeral service. Expression allows us to begin the process of putting our grief into motion and generating forwards movement on the path through grief. When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to worry about is arranging their funeral. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a professional and compassionate Melbourne Orthodox Funeral Services that takes care of all the arrangements for you.

    Meaning

    When someone we care about passes away, it inevitably brings up a lot of questions. I care deeply about this person; did they have a happy life? Why did this person die? Why do any of us have to perish? A funeral provides us with the time and opportunity to ask these questions and start finding our way to answers that give us peace, despite the fact that there are no easy answers to these questions. We are able to find purpose in our continued living and work towards reconciling ourselves to the loss that we have experienced when we engage in the process of searching for meaning and allowing ourselves to find peace.

    Transcendence

    The ultimate goal of a funeral service is to facilitate transcendence. This can take place in two different ways. To begin, the funeral assists us in developing a new sense of who we are as individuals. Funerals are a public way for us to acknowledge a change in status. For instance, a person who was previously married but then experienced the loss of their spouse transitions from being married to being single. Attendees at a funeral are able to publicly acknowledge the loss of a loved one and begin to offer support to the bereaved individual in light of their new status. Second, attending a funeral can serve as a wake-up call, prompting us to reflect on our own lives and the ways in which we hope to spend the time that we have left.

    As a Whole

    These goals are not necessarily accomplished in a sequential manner and may take place in any order; however, they are intertwined. The entire process of attending a funeral is similar to going through an initiation ritual. We come out of it changed, with a new identity, a new relationship with the loved one we've lost, and a new relationship with the community around us.

    Regrettably, not all funerals are effective in assisting us in our healing process. This is due to the fact that we have lost some of our understanding of why funerals are important and how to create a funeral ceremony that is meaningful and healing. This will allow us to get a head start on the process of healing after a loss. However, it is never too late to gain knowledge. For additional details on funerals, including their significance and how to design a service that is both personal and cathartic in nature, click here. At Peter Tzitzis Orthodox Funerals, we offer funeral services that adhere to both religious and secular norms and customs.

    How the Authentic Funeral Helps Meet the Six Reconciliation Needs of Mourning

    Mourning need #1: Acknowledge the reality of the death

    If we want to move past our grief after the passing of a loved one, we need to be honest about the facts surrounding the passing and accept that it is the end of that person's life. Typically, there are two stages during which we accept this reality. We are informed that a person we cared about has passed away, and at the very least, we have an intellectual understanding of the fact that they have died. This is the first step in the process of coming to terms with the death. We start to come to terms with the reality of the death in our hearts over the course of the following days and weeks, helped along by the compassionate understanding of those who are close to us.

    The "head understanding" of a person's passing can be greatly aided by the "heart understanding" gained from participating in a meaningful funeral ceremony. Funerals teach us intellectually that someone we loved has passed away, even though up until the time of the funeral, we may have denied the reality of this statement. We cannot avoid acknowledging that the person has died when we call the funeral home, schedule a time for the service, plan the ceremony, view the body, and possibly even choose clothing and jewellery for the deceased person's body. The finality of death is brought home to us when we watch the casket being placed in the ground after a funeral.

    Mourning need #2:  Move toward the pain of the loss

    As our comprehension of the passing of a loved one evolves from what I like to refer to as "head understanding" to "heart understanding," we start to accept the anguish that comes along with the loss, which is another requirement that the bereaved must fulfil in order to heal. A healthy response to loss involves verbalising the agonising thoughts and emotions that accompany it, and healthy funeral ceremonies give us the opportunity to do just that.

    People have a tendency to cry, even sob and wail, at funerals because funerals force us to concentrate on the reality of the death and our feelings, which are often excruciatingly painful, about that death. This causes people to cry at funerals. Those who are attending a funeral are unable to intellectualise or distance themselves from the pain of their grief for at least an hour or two, and for a longer period of time if they are participating in the planning of the ceremony or attending the visitation. Funerals, to their credit, also offer us a venue where it is acceptable to express the painful emotions that we are experiencing. They are possibly the only time and place, in fact, during which we as a society condone such openly outward expression of our sadness. In other words, we allow ourselves to cry openly in public during these times.

    Mourning need #3: Remember the person who died

    In order to work through our grief and move past the loss of a loved one, we need to reframe our relationship with that person from one of physical presence to one of memory. Because it gives us a natural time and place to reflect on the times—both good and bad—that we spent with the person who has passed away, an authentic funeral is one that encourages us to start making this shift. It also gives us the opportunity to do so. At the funeral, more than at any other time before or after the person's passing, we are encouraged to reflect on the past relationship we had with a single individual and to share our recollections of them with others.

    During the eulogy that is given at traditional funerals, the speaker will make an effort to focus attention on the most significant moments and traits that occurred during the life of the person who has passed away. Those who are bereaved will find this to be beneficial because it often brings back more personal and private memories. Later on, after the actual ceremony has concluded, many of the mourners will speak informally about their recollections of the deceased. This, too, is significant in its own right. The more we are able to "tell the story" throughout our grief journeys, whether of the death itself or of our memories of the person who passed away, the more likely it is that we will be able to reconcile our grief at some point.

    Furthermore, the sharing of memories at the funeral affirms the worth we have placed on the person who has passed away, legitimising the pain we are experiencing as a result of this loss. The memories that other people choose to share with us at a funeral are frequently ones that we have never heard before. This is another common occurrence. This not only enlightens us about the deceased person's life outside of our own, but it also gives us glimmers of that life that we can hold dear for the rest of our lives. Considering your options for funeral arrangements? Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers pre-paid funerals as a more affordable and convenient option. We’ll help you make all the necessary arrangements in advance, so that your loved ones won't have to worry about anything when the time comes.

    Mourning need #4: Develop a new self-identity

    Mourning also requires one to create a new sense of self-identity, which is one of its primary needs for reconciliation. We are all social beings, and the lives of those around us have a significant impact on the meaning that we find in our own. I am not only Alan Wolfelt; I am also a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a friend. I have many roles in this world. When someone close to me passes away, the characteristics that define who I am as an individual shift.

    Because it gives us a social setting in which our new roles can be acknowledged in public, the funeral is helpful to us in getting started on the challenging process of developing a new sense of self-identity. If you are a parent of a child and that child passes away, the funeral of your child ushers in the first day of the rest of your life as a person who is no longer a parent (in the physical sense; you will always have that relationship through memory). Others who are there to pay their respects are, in effect, telling the deceased person, "We acknowledge your changed identity, and we want you to know that we still care about you." When there is no funeral, on the other hand, the social group does not know how to relate to the person whose identity has changed, and as a result, that person is frequently socially abandoned. In addition, being surrounded at the time of the funeral by loving friends and family who are there to comfort us helps us realise that we do, in fact, still exist. This problem with one's sense of self-identity is illustrated by a common remark made by the bereaved, which goes as follows: "When he died, I felt like a part of me died, too."

    Mourning need #5: Search for meaning

    When someone we care about passes away, our natural reaction is to question the purpose of both life and death. Why did this person die? Why right now? How did we get here? Why does it have to be this difficult and painful? What happens once a person has passed away? These are the kinds of questions that need to be asked if we are to find a way to make peace with our grief so that we can start the healing process. In point of fact, before we can ask ourselves how we will continue living, we need to first ask ourselves these "why" questions so that we can determine why we should continue living. This does not imply that we are required to find conclusive answers; rather, it simply means that we must have the opportunity to think (and feel) things through. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a full range of funeral services to help make this difficult time a little bit easier for you and your family. 

    The funeral serves to remind us, on a more fundamental level, of the most fundamental fact of our existence: that we will die. Similar to the process of living, death is an inevitable and natural occurrence. As a result, attending the funeral enables us to look for meaning not only in the life and death of the person who passed away, but also in our own lives and the deaths that are yet to come. Every funeral that we go to acts as a kind of practise run for when it's our turn to be laid to rest.

    Funerals are a way for us as individuals and as a community to communicate our beliefs and values regarding life and death to those who have passed away. The presence of a funeral demonstrates how significant we consider death to be in our culture. This is how things should be so that those who are still alive can continue to live their lives to the fullest and in the best possible health.

    Mourning need #6: Receive ongoing support from others  

    As was mentioned earlier, funerals provide a public forum in which to articulate one's beliefs and emotions in relation to the loss of a loved one. In point of fact, funerals are the public venue where people can offer support to others and receive support in times of grief, both at the time of the funeral and in the future. This is true for both the giver and the receiver of support. Funerals are a form of public expression that send the message, "Come here to support me." Those who decide against holding a funeral are, whether or not they are aware of it, communicating the message "Don't come support me."

    Funerals give us the opportunity to show our support not only verbally but also physically. Despite the fact that ours is not a demonstrative society, we are "allowed" to embrace one another, touch one another, and comfort one another at funerals. Again, words are insufficient, so we show our support through actions rather than words. One of the most important aspects of meaningful funeral ceremonies is the physical demonstration of support, and it is also one of the most healing. In need of assistance with the planning of a funeral service? Visit Peter Tziotzi's Orthodox Funerals in Melbourne for more information.

    FAQs About Funerals

    A person who does not want a traditional funeral service has the opportunity to make arrangements that are suitable for them and their loved ones when they choose direct cremation. It is also an affordable alternative for individuals who have not made preparations for a traditional funeral but would still like to have one.

    It is acceptable to miss someone's funeral on occasion. You should try to find some other way to pay your respects if there is any possibility that your presence could be seen as disruptive or unwelcome in any way. Here are some circumstances in which it is acceptable to not attend a funeral service: if the close relatives of the deceased person will be upset by your presence.

    Your choice regarding whether or not attending a particular funeral constitutes disrespectful behaviour is entirely up to you. It is important to keep in mind that members of your family and friends may form an opinion regarding your decision to opt out of attending the event; therefore, it is best to be ready with a response that explains the reasons behind your decision.

    The deceased person's body is typically placed in a casket, which may be open or closed, so that mourners may view the body, speak to the deceased person, and pray for them. On the other hand, a memorial service does not involve the presence of a body.

    I would be grateful if you could please accept my most sincere apologies for not being able to attend the funeral. It breaks my heart to think that I won't be able to offer my support to you and your family in person during this trying time. It's possible that you won't feel the need to provide an explanation as to why you aren't present at the funeral.

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