Chapter 13: Funeral Services

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This final gesture on behalf of the loved one is the act we all dread the most, the ending, the goodbye. And it would be foolish of us to pretend that the funeral is not a ceremony laden with grief and sadness. But there is another dimension to the funeral as well. It is a way of providing social support for you, the caregiver, and other family and friends, a first step in the bereavement process.

“Before I Go, You Should Know”

The first step in planning a funeral is, of course, determining what your loved one would have wanted, another strong argument for urging him or her to create a will or at least put wishes in writing.

Look Back with Satisfaction

The funeral is over. The loved one has been buried or cremated. Now the difficult part begins, say many survivors. The hours and days and months, perhaps even years, have been filled with the rewards of taking care of your failing loved one. The burden has been heavy but satisfying. You have given your mother, or father, your most loving, most energetic, most resourceful best, through periods that were confusing and harrowing. Now it is all over. In the next chapter, we will talk about how to deal with the bereavement that accompanies the emptiness.

Review additional chapters of Stages of Senior Care:

Previous: Chapter 12: Hospice Care  
Next: Chapter 14: Bereavement