A funeral begins when you set out with the body of the person who has died on their last journey on Earth.

 

The writer Thomas Lynch describes the symbolic importance of a final journey, a funeral procession, here:

I think it suggests that we’re going to get from one place to the other, whatever it is that we have to do to process this new reality, to get the dead to the edge of their changed role and get the living to the edge of this new changed life that they’re going to lead without this person in their lives anymore.

So this pilgrimage, this journey that we go on, replicates in many ways other journeys that we see in life, from infancy to toddlerhood, from toddlerhood to teenagers to adulthood, the journeys we take in life in our heart, in the life of our mind, the life of our spirit. In many ways they’re all replicated by this journey that we take between the living and the dead when someone dies, this procession.

In doing this, in accompanying the dead, getting them where they need to go, we get where we need to be. And I’ve seen it work, I’ve seen it work. It’s a kind of theater, I suppose.

 

You do not have to go straight to the crematorium or burial ground.

You can make this final journey really special by taking a route which takes in and even pauses at favourite and meaningful place— the church where they were married, the football ground where they spent so many Saturdays, a favourite landmark, a favourite shop.

You may have to limit the number of following cars depending on traffic density. You will need to get your timings spot on.