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Dr. Wolfelt has spent decades studying across cultures and age groups to discover the universal purposes that funerals serve. He has concluded that the funeral serves six functions, and that people have had funerals for these reasons since the beginning of human history.

  1. Reality
  2. Recall
  3. Support
  4. Expression
  5. Meaning
  6. Transcendence

For more information on the six reasons that people have funerals, visit the article, “Why Do We Have Funeral?


Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt is an author, educator, and grief counselor with over 30 years of experience working with bereaved families. He has written many best-selling books on grief and loss, including Healing Your Grieving Heart and The Journey Through Grief. Dr. Wolfelt serves as the Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition. Visit him online at


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