The Hebrew word for a funeral is levaya, which means not only to escort, but also to attach, to forge a bond.
When we escort the deceased to their final earthly destination, we forge an eternal and everlasting attachment with the departed. This time calls for a calm and solemn atmosphere, suited for reflection and introspection. Yet the passing of a loved one is undoubtedly among the most trying times in a one’s life. The thought of saying a final good bye is almost too large to grasp.
The details of the funeral arrangements — from preparing the deceased for a halachic burial, to arranging the funeral, to sending the deceased to the burial grounds, to the burial itself — can be overwhelming, and particularly because we wish they be done in the most dignified and noble manner possible. All this can be a distraction from what we really crave: time to reflect on our loss.