A funeral maybe a celebration of someone’s life, and it is wonderful that it should be… to remember happy times, to be thankful for the good times, and grateful for the love and the kindness that someone has shown and shared. It is wonderful to think about the achievements, all the achievements – overcoming difficulties, progressing through life, supporting others and to pay tribute for the last time… A funeral can be an opportunity for friends and family to come together as they not have done for a while, it can be a time of reconciliation. However, all funerals are sad, saying goodbye is painful. Going to a cemetery to visit a grave is a way of reconnecting with a departed friend or relation.
Visiting a cemetery can be meaningful even if you don’t know the people who are buried there; to wander among the graves and see the messages on the stones, brief stories of lives sometimes from long ago. We visited the graves of my husband’s family recently, in a cemetery overlooking Newhaven. The family has always had connections with the sea, and standing there we could look out towards the English Channel. The funerals were long forgotten, and it was a peaceful time to remember, reflect, and even smile at some of the thoughts… and indeed celebrate their lives.