Rituals play an important role in dealing with loss. It often begins with a visit to the cemetery to choose a resting place (crypt, grave or niche), and continues with a funeral/memorial mass and interment. Finally, it will involve the placement of a memorial stone/marker which will serve as a permanent tribute to the deceased.
Many people visit the resting place of their loved one at regular intervals like birthdays and anniversaries. Our culture has also established Christmas Day, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Independence Day as regular times to place wreaths and flowers at the resting place. This is a way to continually remember your loved ones as a very real part of your life.
Talking to God in prayer enables us to communicate our anger, fears and inability to understand. Taking quiet time each morning and night to talk to God can lead us back to believe that our prayers are heard. God will support us in our journey and understands our unbelief. Prayer can be a real comfort during difficult times.
Having masses said and attending them, gives us a public opportunity to acknowledge our grief and remember the deceased. Remembering birthdays, anniversaries and other special events are an important part of ritualization. Gather family and friends together at those times to tell stories, reaffirm memories and to celebrate life.