What if I’m not ready to hold a funeral?

Tracy Crisp, Funeral Celebrant

There are many options available to you if you aren’t ready to hold a funeral or if you need to delay it for any reason.

Apart from the practical considerations, one of the reasons we hold a funeral reasonably soon after someone’s death is because it provides a touchstone for our mourning. And while it doesn’t offer ‘closure’, a funeral is a kind of milestone. It helps us to make sense of the shift in our relationship with that person. For many people, a funeral therefore plays an important role in the early grieving process.

However, there are many reasons you might want to delay a funeral. For example, if the death was sudden and unexpected, you might want time to plan. Or you might want to wait to get in contact with friends or family who are travelling or difficult to contact.

 

“The most common piece of advice I give to people is this: take your time, there’s no need to rush.”

While most people will not want to wait too long before holding the funeral, the most common piece of advice I give to people when they first contact me is this: take your time, there’s no need to rush. So, what do you need to do if you want to wait until you hold the funeral?

One option is to have the burial or cremation in the short term. Direct cremation is becoming increasingly common. This gives you time to collect your thoughts and to hold a memorial service at a later time when you are feeling stronger or more prepared.

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