62 Henry A. MarquardtThis chapter offers some ideas on developing funeral rites, memorial
services, and anniversary services for people who are mentally
retarded. Churches and temples can be of great assistance to people
suffering the pain of loss and separation through bereavement. One
way is by providing the funeral rite. This service is not just for the person
who has died but is primarily for the living, for those who are experiencing the deep and pervasive pain of separation. The liturgy or service
is not only a ritual to be performed, it is also an instrument to assist those
who are suffering to cope, endure, and use this period of pain as a time
of growth and personal development.The liturgy or service should touch the various dimensions of the
person--physical, social, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. The
development of the service must be a joint effort. It is not the sole
responsibility of the clergyperson; family, friends, relatives, and caregivers of the deceased should be involved. It must be a true tribute to
the person who has died, and at the same time, a means to assist the
mourners on their journey through the bereavement process. It should
be both personal and individual. It cannot be a "canned" or pre-packaged liturgy. Everyone has something to contribute.The following are points to consider when preparing for a service:
FUNERAL AND MEMORIAL SERVICES
|1. ||The service has a twofold purpose: it is both a celebration of
the life of the person who has died, and a means of helping the living
to work through the grieving process.|
|2. ||Clients and staff who knew the person who has died should be
informed of the death and should have an opportunity to express their
feelings to one another. Be sure that notification of the death reaches
all the necessary people with whom the person has lived, worked, or
had other significant contacts (such as those in the infirmary and in the
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Serving the Underserved:Caring for People Who Are Both Old and Mentally Retarded: A Handbook for Caregivers.
Contributors: Mary C. Howell - Editor, Deirdre G. Gavin - Editor, Gerard A. Cabrera - Editor, Henry A. Beyer - Editor.
Publisher: Exceptional Parent Press.
Place of publication: Boston.
Publication year: 1989.
Page number: 346.
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