In this video, Dr. Wolfelt dispels the popular notion that a funeral is an opportunity for closure.

A Rite of Initiation

In recent years, there has been a tendency to view the funeral as a way to provide closure for the grieving family. Historically, we know that this is inaccurate. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one knows that the funeral doesn’t signal the end of grief, but the beginning.

Grief Bursts

Sporadic periods of grief will follow those who mourn for the rest of their lives. This is not to say that healing isn’t possible. But we must remember that absolute closure is unobtainable.

A Good Beginning

We shouldn’t assume that the funeral will bring an end to the process of mourning. Rather, it’s a good beginning, the starting marker of a long road to healing.


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 www.centerforloss.com.

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