Life at some point gives way to death. The death of a loved one or even of an acquaintance is never easy to bear both psychologically and socially. So how do those left behind cope with the delicate transition? .
Even in the deterministic and materialistic conception of Ugo Foscolo one glimpses the need for a dignified burial in order to process the mourning and thus be able to move on from the pain, the sense of emptiness, and also to be able to mourn over a grave that allows the memory of the deceased to remain in the living.
“…But why before time does the mortal envy the illusion that dulls him on the edge of Dis? Does he not live underground, when the harmony of the day is silent, if he can awaken it with gentle cares in his mind? Celestial is this correspondence of loving senses, celestial dowry is in human beings, and often because of it we live with our deceased friend and the deceased with us, if we like the earth that gathered him as an infant and nourished him, in its maternal womb offering the last asylum…” vv. 23-35 Dei Sepolcri
According to Foscoli’s point of view, the tomb is of no use to the dead. On the contrary, it is useful to those who remain because it allows the “correspondence of amorous senses”, that is, the emotional relationship that will prolong the bond between the deceased and his loved ones. The deception of the human mind, which in self-defence believes that it will never die completely by surviving in the memories of its loved ones.
For many months the health emergency at Covid19 prevented the celebration of the funeral rite, and even worse was denied the opportunity to pay a last respects to deceased loved ones. Today, yes, everything takes place, but with considerable limitations, and yet the funeral ceremony is of extreme importance for those left behind because it represents the beginning of the process of working through the loss.
The sense of abandonment that the person feels represents a real inner fracture, on a psychological level the pain perceived for the disappearance can be so intense as to push the person who remains to want to die too. On a social level, there may be a withdrawal, an estrangement from the friendship network and sometimes even the parental network, and a withdrawal into one’s own anguish.
The grieving process goes through specific stages, ranging from denial, to anger, to negotiation and understanding of what has happened, to a possible period of depression, and finally to acceptance.
Grieving is not easy. Realising the loss, however, is necessary in order to be able to resume life with serenity and to prevent the situation of grief and depression from crystallising and leading to disorders and warnings of other kinds. Obviously, each individual has his or her own times, presents different sensitivities and responses to the mourning event, which are related to his or her mental condition and also to the ties with the social community of which he or she is an integral part. This is why the funeral ceremony is so important, accompanying the coffin and giving the dead a proper burial is not only a cultural, social and religious fact that is present and different in every community, it is above all the moment that people need to say goodbye.

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