Powerful emotions accompany the news that someone we love has died. For most people, their first thought is, "I can't believe they're gone."
The emotional need to share the sad news allows survivors to express their initial feelings about the loss. While this sharing is comforting, it often leads to the question, "When will the service be held?"
As they face their common loss, friends and family of the deceased begin their journey to healing by expressing words of affection and saying a final goodbye. Their relationships are strengthened when surrounded by loved ones.
In gathering with friends and family, survivors are reminded that though something significant has changed in their lives, not everything has changed.
Though they gather with many, survivors will more deeply connect with a few close friends and family members, who will form a support network in the days and weeks following their loss.
As friends and family reflect on how the deceased has touched their lives, they will embrace memories that nurture healing. This period of reflection can be an important time of restoration and renewal that helps loved ones to evaluate the most important things in life.
In this context, celebrating is not the same as throwing a party or marking a holiday. Celebrating a life allows for a special combination of emotional expressions - the sadness of loss and the joy of love shared.