Give grief a chance - The United Church Observer
I would recommend this article to anyone wrestling with issues around grief and funerals. I have been to some horrific funerals, used to lambaste the congregation with threats of eternal damnation. I have also been to funerals in which lives were celebrated and losses grieved, all at the same time. It seems to me that our society is always ready to deny us the space and time to grieve. If we give away our one permitted arena, the funeral, we risk losing even that small opportunity.
That being said, however, as agonizing as those first few days following a death may be, our deep grief does not usually begin until about six months after the funeral. It takes that long for us to fully realize that our loved one is gone. Until then, each time we walk through the door, or hear the phone ring, we still have that moment of thinking, "Oh, that's probably..." And then our hearts die a little more, as the hole inside us gets bigger. When we finally realize that our loved one is gone, the work of deep grief begins.