Contemporary funeral rituals include both burial and cremation as practiced by the Romans in the olden times. Funeral rituals include the preparation and disposal of the body for which Encarta Encyclopedia (2007) said that in all societies, the human body is prepared in some fashion before it is finally laid to rest and this include washing the body, dressing it in special garments, and adorning it with ornaments, religious objects, or amulets are common procedures.
Other even practices tying the feet together possibly to prevent the spirit of the deceased from wandering about. The most careful treatment of the body is embalming, which is believed to have originated in ancient Egypt. This was done on the belief that for the soul to go into the next life, the body must remain intact after physical death. It is in this context that mummification was developed. Modern Western society believes that embalming will prevent mourners from having to face up to the processes of disintegration (Encarta Encyclopedia, 2007).
Recent practices in the Western include already cremation as evidenced from the increasing number of cremated bodies in the following cremation statistics: As North America becomes a more increasingly stressful place with most people having hectic jobs, demanding families and everyone just wanting more cremation has become the most favorable method of disposition. The number of cremations has increased dramatically in recent years, from 5% in 1962 to 20% in 1992. As of 1996, approximately 21% of Americans and 36% of Canadians were cremated.
Percentages vary from approximately 75% in B. C. to approximately 1°/an in Newfoundland. The high number of cremations in B. C. is partly caused by our large transient population and the presence of many Sikhs and Hindus in which cremation is their preferred method of disposition. Cremation is expected to be the preferred method of disposition in Canada by approximately the year 2015. In both US and Canada and US, the projected cremations are expected to reach at least 40% for each country by year 2010 as predicted from data coming from Cremation Association of North America.
With over 30,000 funeral homes in the U. S. and Canada as well as hundred s of cremation and memorial societies, this projection could not be surprising. Funeral practices have different meaning for different people. For one the United States saw its practices of treating the dead have been construed in many ways. It could be from an economic, psychological and, more recently, symbolical points of view. It symbolical meaning reflected “American social and religious values concerning the nature of the individual and the meaning of life.
”(Encarta Encyclopedia, 2007) 2) Eastern society: changes and reasons, degree of change, influences, expectations Contemporary funeral rituals include still both burial and cremation as practiced because of the fact the practice is more of an influence of their religions. Funeral rituals in Asia also include the practice of what to wear in case of death of their loved ones. In many Southeast Asian cultures, the wearing of white is symbolic of death (Maitra, A. 2006) as could be observed in their robes of relatives during funeral rituals.
For the Chinese culture, they do not use red, as it is a symbolic color of happiness in their traditions. This has not stopped the contemporary Western culture to have influenced the Eastern practices as the dark-colored or black attire is now often used has found acceptability for mourners to wear specially for non-family members. The events involving funeral would cause one to see mourners wearing dark colors and white or off-white armband or white robe. II Models of grief and bereavement. A. Application and appropriateness of models
Funeral rituals when viewed from the psychological point of view make use of models of grief and bereavement to explain people behavior and their eventual emotional healing as result of under the experience. Below therefore are discussion of some of the models of grief and bereavement. 1) Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (5 stages of grief) The first group model uses that of Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief model. As the name suggest, there are five stages and they are follows: First is the denial stage which is the usually the first reaction to the loss of something we are attached to.
Under this stage, people deny the death of a loved one so much that they do allow anyone refers to them as ‘gone’. They will just reveal in their words the loved ones are just sleeping and hence could be a normal mechanism to protect themselves from the sudden turn of events (EHF, n. d. 1). The second stage is anger, which is probably the cause of the most pain from grief as anger can cause deep and sometimes permanent wounds that are unnecessary. Letting go seems to the only solution.
One may experience anger in one’s grief and may perceive that someone has injured that person in one way or the other. This may explain the sudden law suits that even winning with the awards in money, one may still lose the years one would have allowed the anger to consume that person. Letting it go and forgive these people appears to be the only solution that will lead to acceptance, which is the most ideal stage that would complete the grief and start the healing process (EHF, n. d. 1). The third stage is bargaining which as strange as denial.
For some they need not pass through this if they have accepted the event. Under this stage, one makes deals to gain back what he or she lost. It is therefore not surprising to see someone who bargains over a loss in some way, by trying to regain somehow what he or she may have lost as exemplified by replacing untimely the lost partner. Doing this can prevent one from healing from one’s grief and these could lead to both people finding themselves both hurt deeply because the occasion was taken advantage and there was no enough time to allow relationship to grow (EHF, n. d. 1).