What comes after a funeral?

Published: 5/9/2023
What comes after a funeral?
What comes after a funeral?

What comes after a funeral ? navigating the path forward 

Losing a loved one is an experience that no one can fully prepare for. In the midst of grief, it's natural to find yourself wondering about the next steps after a funeral. You're not alone in seeking guidance during this challenging time.   

This article is here to offer support and information as you navigate the journey ahead. Every person's grief journey is unique, and there's no right or wrong way to go through it.

Honouring the memories 

After a funeral, you might find yourself thinking of ways to preserve your loved one's memory. Below are several suggestions you might like to consider to honour them in your own way:

Create a memorial space

Consider setting up a special place in your home where you can display photographs, mementos and other items that remind you of your loved one. This space can serve as a comforting reminder of the positive moments you shared.

Plant a memorial garden 

If your loved one had a fondness for nature, you might find solace in planting a memorial garden in their honour. Choose their favourite flowers or plants and create a space where you can reflect and remember.

Support a cause 

To keep your loved one's memory alive, you could contribute to a cause or charity that was important to them. This could be a meaningful way to channel your grief into something positive.

Coping with grief

Grief doesn't follow a linear path and it's important to acknowledge the range of emotions you're feeling. Here are some strategies for coping with grief:  

RELATED ARTICLE: How can I be there for a grieving friend?

Reach out for support

Don't hesitate to lean on friends, family or support groups. Sharing your feelings can be cathartic, and others who have experienced loss may offer valuable insight and support.

What comes after a funeral?
What comes after a funeral?

Take care of yourself 

Grieving can take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. Remember to eat healthily, exercise and get enough rest. Self-care can play a crucial role in your healing journey.

Seek professional help 

If you find yourself struggling to cope with your emotions, consider speaking to a grief counsellor or therapist. They can provide you with tools and techniques to navigate your grief in a healthy way. We have shared contacts of these below.

Legal and financial matters

After a funeral, there are certain practical matters that may need your attention. While it might not be easy to delve into these topics, addressing them can help bring a sense of closure:

Estate matters 

If your loved one has a will, it's important to initiate the process of estate settlement. This may involve distributing assets, paying off debts and handling legal paperwork. Seeking legal advice can be beneficial during this time.

Notifying authorities 

Notify relevant authorities and institutions about your loved one's passing. This could include government agencies, banks, insurance companies and more.

Reviewing documentation 

Go through your loved one's important documents to ensure that all necessary paperwork is in order. This can prevent any potential issues down the line.  

RELATED ARTICLE: What Does 'Probate' Mean in Australia?

Moving forward

As time goes on, you'll find yourself adjusting to a new normal. While the pain of loss might never completely fade, you'll discover ways to integrate the memories of your loved one into your life:

Embrace the memories 

It's okay to feel joy and laughter as you reminisce about the good times you shared with your loved one. Embracing their memory in positive ways can be a healing experience.

Set new goals

As you move forward, consider setting new goals and aspirations for yourself. This can help you focus on the future and create a sense of purpose.

Give yourself time

Grief doesn't have an expiration date. Be patient with yourself and allow time for healing. It's okay to have moments when you miss your loved one intensely, even years after their passing.

Rituals and traditions

Engaging in rituals and traditions that hold significance for your loved one can create a sense of connection. Whether it's lighting a candle, making their favourite meal, or participating in a cultural ceremony, these acts can be a way of keeping their memory alive. 

Sharing stories

Share stories about your loved one with friends and family. These anecdotes can bring smiles, laughter, and even tears. Remember, the power of storytelling lies in its ability to preserve the essence of the person you cherished.

Continuing their legacy 

Consider carrying forward the passions and values that your loved one held dear. This could involve volunteering for causes they cared about, continuing their hobbies or even naming scholarships or awards in their honour.  

The journey after a funeral is a personal one and there's no right or wrong way to navigate it. Take each step at your own pace and know that healing is possible. Your loved one's memory will forever be a part of you, shaping the path ahead in meaningful ways.  

To find support:  

Beyond Blue provides Australians with information and support to improve their mental health. Call 1300 22 46 36 or visit beyondblue.org.au for more information.  

Lifeline Australia provides Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support. Call 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au for more information.  

GriefLine listens, cares and supports people experiencing loss and grief, at any stage in life. Call 1300 845 6am to midnight AEST, 7 days a week.  

MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.  

Kids Helpline is a free 24/7, confidential and private counselling service Australia wide specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25 years. Call 1800 55 1800.  

Life Supports Counselling provides Australians with experienced counsellors & psychologists in their local area Australia-wide. Call 1300 735

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