Grief Education
Children & Grief
Coping with Grief
 

Survivor Trauma

 

by The Cremation Association of North America

Those who say--whether seriously or in jest--"Just cremate me and throw me out!" don't realize the burden this places on family members. Direct disposal of cremated remains without funerals or memorialization of any kind can cause serious traumatic problems for survivors.

An executive of the Forum for Death Education tells of one patient under therapy as a result of scattering the cremated remains of a loved one. She had no focal point for her grief until he suggested she obtain a niche at a local mausoleum and place some memento of the loved one within.

In day-to-day contact with bereaved families, many cemetarians have noticed signs of severe emotional stress among the survivors in instances of cremation without memorialization and without funerals.

In some cases, such problems may take the form of delayed reaction many months later and are more apt to come to the attention of the medical community or clinical psychologists than to the layman or the general public.

Many psychiatrists feel that the funeral serves a very real need for the survivors. One of them stated that the primary purpose of the funeral is to fulfill the need for grieving for the living and that this need goes unfulfilled for many in our culture. The result, in many cases, is that months or years later people require psychiatric treatment for severe depression

In suffering a loss, the traditional rites of passage and memorialization can be beneficial in helping individuals pass through the stages of grief.

 

When the practice of cremation is accomplished with human dignity and recognition, it will:

  • help assuage grief
  • alleviate guilt
  • contribute to emotional stability
  • create peace of mind

 

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