As we are nearing the end of season 1 of the podcast, I am humbled, grateful, and amazed that in such a short time we have built an engaged, international audience spanning five continents and 12 countries. Thank you for being part of this growing community.
Grief & Funeral Rituals
I was intrigued by a topic that Kent Chevalier, my guest for the tenth episode, introduced on grief rituals in the USA. As you will hear in the next full length episode, my story, I am not a stranger to grief or mourning rituals. Having grown up with an Italian immigrant father and Italian-American mother, funeral, grieving, mourning, and talks of death were quite the norm for me. Yet, this did not prepare me for my own brother’s death or funeral.
The variety and importance of grieving rituals around the world are very different. This topic was raised several times throughout the first season as well in some interviews not yet released. For example, Miriame shared just how different the funeral rituals were in her parents‘ home town in the country of Tunisia were and how that experience impacted her. Kent shared how the “funeral parade” past his brother’s lifeless body has changed how he now approaches funerals.
Traditions are often rooted in religion, culture, hygiene, fears, beliefs, and connection or longing. Over time, much has remained the same and much has changed.
Contemporary grieving practices are evolving around the world- especially as our world is connected electronically. A commonality of many of these developing practices that has been present in many existing ones is the sharing of stories about the deceased as a connection to them and as a way to process grief.
What has been helpful or not to you or what do you find intriguing about grieving, funeral, and mourning rituals in your or other cultures? E-mail me here and let me know!
An opportunity to share your story is coming soon…
In the next few weeks, I will share an opportunity for you to process your grief through sharing your story. Stay tuned! I am putting the final touches on this.
In the meantime, here is a short exercise. Take a few deep breaths. In a journal or on your phone’s notes or journaling app, write down your answers to the following.
- Take a moment to remember a memory or moment you shared with your sibling.
- How do you feel as you recall this memory right now in this moment?
- Remind yourself that regardless of whether your emotions are positive, negative, or neutral they are all valid!
Processing emotions and relationships – even if they are not positive- is part of the healing process.
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Warmly and with gratitude,