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Analysis and Effects of A Funeral on Spouse of Deceased

A funeral has been characterized as a counter-cultural phenomenon and in a culture that denies death or fears it, a funeral functions in a manner that is designed to make death a reality, normalize the grieving process, and introduce possibilities for a new life for survivors (Giblin & Hug, 2006). Funeral rites and rituals are as old as mankind. Anthropologists have identified funerary rites and customs associated with both Neolithic and Paleolithic man. Over time, as civilizations emerged and became more complex, funeral rituals also increased in terms of complexity and significance (Berger, 2004). Such rituals are designed in any number of religious or faith systems to serve two goals. On the one hand, they are meant to mark the passage of the deceased from the present world to some other state of being defined by his or her religious belief system. On the other hand, these same rituals provide survivors with a sense of closure and an opportunity to mourn while accepting the demise of a loved one.

Each religious system that has developed over time has created its own unique approach to funeral rituals and rites. Hogue (2006) notes that funerals in every religious belief system are rites of passage or ways in which human beings navigate radical changes in life as well as activities by means of which man's journeys with his gods or God and with other humans are identified. In Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity as well as in any number of other existing world religions, specific traditions and doctrines shape the ways in which funeral rituals are designed. These rituals are meant to reflect fundamental doctrines and dogmas of a faith and particularly to explicate the ways in which the religious system views life and death with respect to the existence (or lack thereof) of some sort of hereafter in which the individual lives on in some way or form (Hogue, 2006).

At issue herein is an analysis of t...

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