After all is said and done and the last goodbyes are complete all that is left to do is meet with friends and family and discuss thoughts and memories at a post funeral reception or gathering. This step is important for most, if not everyone as it can help the grieving process by having the closest to the deceased surrounded by loved ones as oppose to him or her being alone at a very fragile time. The post funeral reception or gathering can be conducted pretty much anywhere from a place of worship to a family home to a bar or restaurant.
What you should look to get out of it?
The post funeral gathering concept is a very old human tradition and exists in almost all cultures, traditions and religions. It’s purpose is to offer comfort to the bereaved at a very difficult time but it also serves as an opportunity to catch up with friends and family whom you may not have otherwise seen.
As a comfort giver
If you do find yourself in the position of offering comfort to someone it’s key to try to read the person and allow them to talk about how they feel. Sharing is helpful and talking about common experiences may help. You should also feel free to change the subject if needed if they want a break. Also remember, if you can offer something, don’t be afraid to ask them if their is something they need.
As a comfort receiver
Receiving comfort from somebody is the most human of all interactions. Be gracious in accepting comfort and if it comes to it don’t be afraid to accept help. As good as some people are at giving comfort, remember that there are people who do need to be avoided. Try to steer clear of people who will either make things worse or will likely push the wrong emotional buttons.
Planning and time allowances
Be aware that this element of the funeral is similar to a standard get together with people. The venue can only open for so long and you will need to plan what will be on offer in terms of food and drink. You may also need to consider a secondary venue (like the family home) if some wish to continue with the ceremonies. In any case the event needs to be planned with allowances made for timelines of the other funeral or service events, especially when food is involved.
Today’s post funeral gatherings are wide open to interpretation. For the most part they can be held anywhere and can be a deeply important way of remembering the deceased. They can be held in an area or place of significance to the person who has died and can help everyone gel together in tough times. The gatherings really can be held anywhere so don’t feel limited by tradition or ritual in this aspect of the funeral ceremony.